Man, I love the workproduct of Miike Takashi, I think that he is an absolutely brilliant director and I look forward with anticipation to seeing anything of his that I haven't already. Granted, the chap has his faults and even the best of his work has a kind of erratic quality that gets one to think to oneself 'I wish he hadn't just done that'. Often this has to do with over-the-top sentimentality, or the veering off in a completely other direction from the main storyline for a while. Still, I always expect to be thoroughly entertained by his movies even when I don't care much for the storyline: Mr. Takashi is simply that good. Having said that, the guy is pretty much a movie making machine with literally dozens of films produced by now. As such, it is inevitable that he has made some clunkers. This is one of them, and while it isn't actually a 'bad' film it just isn't good like I expect Takashi to be good. The premise of the film is that a low status, much put upon, Okinawan yakuza absconds with 500 millions of the Yakuza group's heroin money and after serving time in jail for a crime commited as part of that act he hires a karate expert, thus the title Bodyguard Kiba to watch over him while he seeks to retrieve the money and his prostitute girlfriend so that they can start a new life together. Suffice it to say that the Yakuza group are in hot pursuit which produces a number of twists and turns that allow Kiba and his female colleague to get into lots of fights, and for the audience to see simulated, sometimes violent, sex between the prostitute girlfriend and a number of yakuza men. Oh, and oddly enough there is the Okinawa cop karate expert thrown in the mix for who knows what reason to shadow the main players in their hunt and also to defend the honor of Okinawa Karate in the face of a perceived insult to it cast by Kiba in one of the aforementioned odd Takashi twists that was utterly unecessary to the plot. Unfortunately the plot is predictable and the fight scenes way too, ahem, ham-fisted to be any fun. In fact, I ended up cutting the film off very near the end because I couldn't be bothered to watch it right through to the end. This is an early work by the artist/director which probably explains the low quality of the movie and it is gratifying to see Takashi's early development of one of the things that I love about him: Casting visually interesting characters to act in his movies. He does a great job of finding, in the case of the main protaganists a whole slew of really great 'faces' and in the case of the girlfriend prostitute a really great, well, you know what I
mean. I don't think you need watch this one, really. It's not that good.