Big bucks bodyguard Naoto Kiba is hired to be the "Bodyguard of Darkness" to protect the Soryukai Family from the thieving Ishimine in this action-filled drama. Without weapons, Kiba conquers the enemy, and fight scene upon fight scene packs it in, with pinky slicing, torture, drugs, sex and violent exchanges prevailing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mild MiikeJan. 12 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
It is nice to be able to watch a Miike film that isn't full of his standard torture, rape, and mutilation. Bodyguard Kiba does have some explicit scenes of sex and violence, and there is a rape, but not as graphic as some of his other films. This is one of Miike's earlier efforts made for the Japanese video market. It concerns a low level delivery man for the Yakuza who decides to split with his boss's money so that he and his girlfriend can get out of town and establish a better life for themselves. He is able to tell his girlfriend of his plan and direct her where to go but he is picked up before he can escape with the money. He is taken back to his boss and beaten severely but luckily for him a detective busts in before he is killed. He spends the next five years in prison and when he gets out he is concerned with only three things. Hiring a bodyguard to protect him since his former associates know when and where he will be released, getting the hidden cash, and making sure his girlfriend is waiting for him. His bodyguard is a former martial arts master which comes in handy since there are many people who wish to do his client harm. The detective is also closely monitoring the thief and his bodyguard and trailing their every move along with the Yakuza who want to recover their losses. The man soon finds out that his girlfriend did not make a clean getaway and was captured by the Yakuza who beat and raped her. She was also shot full of drugs which has left her a strung out prostitute being kept by the Yakuza boss who captured her. Her only reason for living is to sell out her ex boyfriend to the mob so that he can suffer like she has for the past five years. There are some pretty good martial arts scenes in this film making it a decent enough action film with a pretty standard story. There is one graphic sex scene and most amusingly when the prostitute shoots up the needle going in and everything is blurred which I was surprised to see on this DVD. It is an entertaining enough action film to watch but not one of Miike's best which isn't saying much since there are quite a few films to choose from.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I never thought I'd see the day when I'd give Takashi Miike just 2 starsJan. 1 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
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.