A stylized and violent thriller, prolific director Takashi Miike's City of Lost Souls (2000) is set in the ganglands of Tokyo and pays homage to Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, and, in a weird, animated cockfighting sequence, The Matrix. Mario (Teah) is the Japanese-Brazilian gunslinger fresh out of jail who, in a hilariously audacious action sequence, hijacks a helicopter to save his Chinese girlfriend Kei (Michelle Reis) from deportation. He must then secure 18 million yen to secure fake passports for both of them to make a new life for themselves in Australia. In a misconceived operation, Mario arrives at the lair of the intriguing Ko, Kei's ex-boyfriend--a self-assured, effeminate young exchange student--who is somehow head of a vicious gang of Triads. He's at the point of buying a consignment of cocaine from decadent, cold-blooded Yakuza gangster Fushimi when Mario's arrival triggers a shootout, with Mario escaping with the wrong suitcase. Now, in time-honored True Romance fashion, Mario and Kei are on the run from the mob.
Although visually tricky with some strong set pieces, The City of Lost Souls is rather hazy when it comes to story and characterization. We get little sense of the runaway couple as people. A young blind girl is introduced into the tale and there are romantic moments between Mario and Kei, but these feel like sugary palliatives to the bloodshed rather than touching moments. Better perhaps to check out Miike's Audition, a brilliantly gruesome satire on male Japanese attitudes toward womanhood. This is a flashier, faster, but less artistically satisfying affair. --David Stubbs
Don't bother with this piece of trash. At least rent before you buy. I'm a great fan of Director Miike's work, but he makes so many films that some just turn out to be... Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by gibbie
At the risk of sounding very pretentious, I think that some of the negative reviews miss the point of the film. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by Henry Platte
I caught this movie on cable after seeing "Audition" (which I liked) in the theatre. That Miike is a gifted director, pipin- full of potential, there can be no doubt. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2003 by Benjamin Lefebvre
This film was made by Takashi Miike, one of Japan's newest avant-garde directors (also known for using enormous amounts of violence and gore in his films). Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2003 by James Lee
I just picked up this movie today and it took everything that I could muster not to pull it out of the DVD player. Read morePublished on March 26 2003 by "jviper22"
I've been exploring the works of Miike since first stumbling upon "Audition" back when it hit the art house theater circuits over a year or so ago, and while that movie... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by Amanda
City of Lost Children is a Japanese contemporary version of Bonnie and Clyde. Kei is about to be deported, but her boyfriend Mario steps in between the law and rescues her in... Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2003 by Swederunner
City of Lost Children is a Japanese contemporary version of Bonnie and Clyde. Kei is about to be deported, but her boyfriend Mario steps in between the law and rescues her in... Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2003 by Swederunner