and i like it that way. this film is absolute brilliance (though not a good place start on miike)
takashi miike is one of my all time favorite directors, his films almost never take themselves seriously, something some movie buffs might find irritating, but imo its just what makes miike, miike. his work may not be considered "brilliant" or "genius" (i sure as hell dont) but i doubt he does either. each of his films are like a passage into the director's own private world within. sometimes its scary, sometimes its funny, sometimes its sad, sometimes it can hardly be put into words, but all the time it is takashi miike. he is the true term, an artist.
now, praise aside, lets talk about the film. well there's the usual rounds of ultra-violence, quintessential dark, or "Selective" humor, one scene of necrophillia(dont over-hype yourselves), & what may be the strongest story of what is considered "the dead or alive trilogy".
the film tells the violent story of two orphan boys who part ways then meet years later as adult men, crossing paths through a path of ironic violence. the two learn that one & the other is a hit-man, not to mention both are fleeing after a "big hit" to the same island, its only normal to think that the island just so happens to be the same island they lived on as children.
i wont go to far into the story, many other people have done that already, i'll just say that what i got from the film was the story of two bitter halves of the same soul, who seek to find within themselves the happiness they lost long ago. although its story & character study is poignant, it still doesnt take itself seriously, miike always like to riddle his films with his own brand of dark humor. definately one of miike's best films, though not a good place to start (a better place to start would maybe be audition, the 1st dead or alive, or ichi the killer)