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Dead or Alive 2 (Widescreen Sub) [Import]

Shô Aikawa , Riki Takeuchi , Takashi Miike    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 31.43 & FREE Shipping. Details
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From the ashes of Dead or Alive's apocalyptic ending comes Dead or Alive 2, both a continuation of the series and a stand-alone film on par with its predecessor. Serving up shockingly graphic violence, sincere character nuance, engaging humor and transcendent magical realism with equal mastery, Dead or Alive 2 offers definitive evidence of why the New York Post hailed director Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) as "one of the most exciting, versatile directors working today." After Yakuza hitman Mizuki (Sho Aikawa) watches a high-priced target gunned down by another assassin, he combs the underworld in search of clues that will reveal his rival's identity. But when the two executioners meet, they discover they are long-lost childhood friends. Now reunited, Mizuki and his amigo Shuichi (Riki Takeuchi) team up to pay off their spiritual debts while staying one trigger-pull ahead of the Yakuza mobsters and drug triad killers who want them dead. Somehow simultaneously reprising and reversing their roles from the first DOA installment, Japanese "V Film" cult actors Aikawa and Takeuchi are joined by Tetsuo: Iron Man creator Shinyu Ysukamoto in a rare onscreen appearance. Director Miike loads DOA 2 with equally rich portions of mayhem and sentiment, creating both a bloodthirsty Asian action film and a lyrical journey of cinematic finesse.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birds fly free Nov. 26 2003
Format:DVD
After the brilliant no holds barred Yakuza flick Dead or Alive, miike decided to continue, using Sho Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi (evil japanese elvis) with the same name for 2 more movies with different stories and characters.
Sho Aikawa is a hired sniper who is employed by a small mob to cause a war between 2 powerful yakuza groups.
When he positions for his prey, suddenly a member of the group(Riki Takeuchi) that protects his target kills every single gang member without a reason. Soon Aikawa is on the run with the money and he finds out that the yakuza who killed his group is a childhood friend with whom he grew up in the same orphanage. After ,they are teamed to kill bad guys for money which is sent to Africa for the injections needed for ill children.
Like the story points, movie is rather different from the first one. Characters are actually on the same side this time and althought there are loads of killing and violence, movie is more concerned with past and issues like friendship, childhood memories and little humanity which is still left in the hearts of Yakuza members. Also Movie has a very positive message, and unlike the first film, you will witness loads of nice landscapes.
When old friends visit their orphanage, they find their childhood innocence which is still hiding somewhere. But ofcourse that is a miike film and you will witness loads of violence especially in the scenes of dark metallic corridors where yakuza attack each other with pistols and katanas.
Dark irony, absurd moments, strange people (miikes trademarks) are of course all over the movie so have no fear.
Instead of repeating what he has done, miike chooses the hard way and makes a movie from the different point of view without loosing the plot or the control of the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A DVD zone UNUSUAL SEQUELS Jan. 25 2004
Format:DVD
DEAD OR ALIVE 2: THE BIRDS is an unusual sequel to one of the most interesting cult movies of the last ten years : DEAD OR ALIVE. It's not properly a sequel because the two main actors don't play the same characters and the story isn't connected with DEAD OR ALIVE plot.
The atmosphere of the movie is also very different from the first DEAD OR ALIVE. A lot less hysterical editings and non-stop action sequences in this film clearly divided in three parts. Between the first and the last part where action movies fans will find back the Takashi Miike they know, the two heroes spend a few days in their native island, remembering their childhood in an orphanage. These sequences are masterfully directed by Miike who confirms here that he's a more than interesting director. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birds fly free Nov. 26 2003
By Kuroneko1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
After the brilliant no holds barred Yakuza flick Dead or Alive, miike decided to continue, using Sho Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi (evil japanese elvis) with the same name for 2 more movies with different stories and characters.
Sho Aikawa is a hired sniper who is employed by a small mob to cause a war between 2 powerful yakuza groups.
When he positions for his prey, suddenly a member of the group(Riki Takeuchi) that protects his target kills every single gang member without a reason. Soon Aikawa is on the run with the money and he finds out that the yakuza who killed his group is a childhood friend with whom he grew up in the same orphanage. After ,they are teamed to kill bad guys for money which is sent to Africa for the injections needed for ill children.
Like the story points, movie is rather different from the first one. Characters are actually on the same side this time and althought there are loads of killing and violence, movie is more concerned with past and issues like friendship, childhood memories and little humanity which is still left in the hearts of Yakuza members. Also Movie has a very positive message, and unlike the first film, you will witness loads of nice landscapes.
When old friends visit their orphanage, they find their childhood innocence which is still hiding somewhere. But ofcourse that is a miike film and you will witness loads of violence especially in the scenes of dark metallic corridors where yakuza attack each other with pistols and katanas.
Dark irony, absurd moments, strange people (miikes trademarks) are of course all over the movie so have no fear.
Instead of repeating what he has done, miike chooses the hard way and makes a movie from the different point of view without loosing the plot or the control of the film. He also proves that he can shoot any type of movie he wants without falling flat on floor (proved in katakuris and bird people of china)
Although series of dead or alive will always be remembered for the first film (and especially the over the top cult ending), Dead or alive 2 is definitely a film not to be missed. One of miike's memorable films.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the Dead Or Alive series. Dec 18 2004
By Internal Abbatoir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This movie, IMO, is the best in the Dead Or Alive series. When I saw this movie I was amazed. I was initially expecting a typical Yakuza shoot em up film, yet this movie delivers a poignant story about lost childhood innocence, friendship, and life and death. It goes beyond expectations.

The movie starts off with an assassination that is supposed to ignite a war between the triads. But, before we know it, this movie takes a 180 degree turn as the two main characters of the film (Sho Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi) return to their boyhood, island home in search of their lost innocence. They were both raised on an orphanage before they became professional killers, so the idea of returning to the island is a return to their childhood when they were innocent. Once they arrive on the island, they meet up with their other boyhood friend, Kohei, who has become a modest fisherman as opposed to a hit man. For a while, Sho and Riki return to their childhood. They play like children, act like children, and live under an illusion of innocence and well-being while all hell breaks lose back in Tokyo because of their prior actions. The best example of this is the juxtaposition of the children's play scene and the ultra violent Yakuza shoot out scene. During this nostalgic visit it is fully realized that these two characters were meant to meet up again, that it was fate for them to join forces and work together as a team. They join forces and return to Tokyo. Once they are there, they start killing off gang members and donating the money to charities for children in third world countries. Therefore, they become angels of life and death by dictating who lives and who dies. They are saving children, yet killing off people in order to do it.

This is basically what Dead Or Alive 2 is all about. Its storyline is not a continuation of Dead Or Alive 1 in the traditional sense, which in many ways makes this film an entity of its own. With this movie, Takashi Miik proves that he is more than a traditional film maker. He keeps things interesting by not outdoing himself, but rather by doing things different; looking at things from different angles and throwing characters into alternate situations. There is no good guy vs. bad guy showdown here, it's just a good-old fashioned nostalgic story of life and death.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they dont make'm like this in the usa Jan. 5 2007
By Artos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
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)
4.0 out of 5 stars Release the birds! April 1 2008
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Dead or Alive 2 (Takashi Miike, 2000)

While I liked Dead or Alive, I liked its sequel even more; where the first one seemed to me to be all setup that led simply to the awesome final sequence, DoA2 actually has an interesting storyline, some really good acting, and an even weirder (and more drawn-out) final sequence.

Aikawa and Takeuchi return, of course, this time as childhood friends who are reunited after a number of years. Both, coincidentally hired for the same job, have turned out to be hitmen, and not surprisingly, they decide to work together-- not only on this job, but to go into business together for good. They decide to use their talents to help the poor, which confounds (and angers) their erstwhile respective bosses, leading to, well... actually, I can't say that. The weird starts long, long before that. But it does get weirder as we go along, and it does so in inimitable Takashi Miike style.

If you're not yet familiar with Takashi Miike, there are probably better places to start (especially if you're not fond of violence; Miike is known as a director of yakuza films, for the most part, which are steeped in violence, but the violence-averse moviegoer could well find many things to like in The Bird People in China, which is a yakuza film only in the loosest sense, or Miike's wonderful historical costume drama Sabu), but the Dead or Alive films are must-views once you've got a handle on Miike and his various obsessions. This is great stuff. ****
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A DVD zone UNUSUAL SEQUELS Jan. 25 2004
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
DEAD OR ALIVE 2: THE BIRDS is an unusual sequel to one of the most interesting cult movies of the last ten years : DEAD OR ALIVE. It's not properly a sequel because the two main actors don't play the same characters and the story isn't connected with DEAD OR ALIVE plot.
The atmosphere of the movie is also very different from the first DEAD OR ALIVE. A lot less hysterical editings and non-stop action sequences in this film clearly divided in three parts. Between the first and the last part where action movies fans will find back the Takashi Miike they know, the two heroes spend a few days in their native island, remembering their childhood in an orphanage. These sequences are masterfully directed by Miike who confirms here that he's a more than interesting director. Recommended.
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