Monday, January 29, 2007

the great yokai war

The Great Yokai War (Takashi Miike, 2005) - 6/10

This Miike film is panned as family-friendly. To some extent, yes. If you've seen other Miike films, you'd know that he doesn't shy away from sexual innuendo. Even this family-friendly film contains a little trace of that, but nothing to the extent of his other films. Plus, some dark scenes and characters that may scare the little kiddies.

A young boy, Tadashi (Ryuunosuke Kamiki) is chosen to keep the peace from evil. Through his quest, he meets different and strange spirits (Yokai). Chiaki Kuriyama, from Battle Royale and Kill Bill fame, plays one of the villains. These spirits seem to be taken from Japanese folk tales and reminiscent to characters in Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

Realize the budget of this film. Mixed with CGI effects and some stop-motion, don't expect or compare it to the proportions of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. That said, with the fantasy aspect of this film and the amount of great characters, this film lacks energy and excitement. A rather dull film with wasted potential. A film such as Cutie Honey lacked the glossy effects and style, but at least it provided plenty of energy and characters with a ton of charisma to make a good film in its own unique way.

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