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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing work of film
I am a huge fan of Takashi Miike, and Ichi completely blew me away! The acting is incredible and after the film I wanted to cry because it was so great. This is definitely a must see if you are a fan of Miike's or Asian films in general. Of course if you are squeamish then this wouldn't be the one for you but if you enjoy gore along with a great story line then this movie...
Published 21 months ago by StefB

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3.0 out of 5 stars Ultra Violent Madness, For Better or Worse
Live Action Anime...yes it is an oxymoron, but it's one way to describe what Director Takashi Miike has done with Ichi the Killer. It's like a live action version of Akira or Ninja Scroll.

The film's plot is secondary so I won't dwell on it here, but if you have never seen Miike's films, get ready for a ride through the imagination of a complete mad man. The...
Published on July 5 2007 by K. Driscoll


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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing work of film, Oct. 24 2012
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This review is from: Ichi the Killer - R rated (DVD)
I am a huge fan of Takashi Miike, and Ichi completely blew me away! The acting is incredible and after the film I wanted to cry because it was so great. This is definitely a must see if you are a fan of Miike's or Asian films in general. Of course if you are squeamish then this wouldn't be the one for you but if you enjoy gore along with a great story line then this movie is perfect for you! I wish there were more movies like this around. One of my many favourites!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ultra Violent Madness, For Better or Worse, July 5 2007
This review is from: Ichi the Killer - R rated (DVD)
Live Action Anime...yes it is an oxymoron, but it's one way to describe what Director Takashi Miike has done with Ichi the Killer. It's like a live action version of Akira or Ninja Scroll.

The film's plot is secondary so I won't dwell on it here, but if you have never seen Miike's films, get ready for a ride through the imagination of a complete mad man. The best part about the film is that Miike and his team are actually outstanding technically, and his sense of humor is both original and in my opinion hilarious.

Ichi the Killer is as glossed over and stylized as it is sadistic and violent, and believe me when I say that this film is violent. It's sexually violent content is out of whack as well and alone might earn Ichi an NC-17 stamp but it's violence is so fantastic it almost seems cartoon-like. If you didn't find humor in films like Dead Alive, Robocop, Evil Dead 2 or Kill Bill pass on Ichi, but if you like those films like I do, give Miike a chance, you won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's really a love story, May 12 2004
By 
Prepare yourself for severe emotional scarification.
If you can muster the fortitude to watch the unedited versions of Ichi the Killer and Visitor Q all the way through you will be taken to the very limit of the cinematic extreme.
Short of a snuff flick a Takashi Miike film is the most sick depraved event you will expirience on you television set (with the exeption of the Olsen twins movies of corse).
Ichi the Killer Rules!
Be prepared!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fake violence, April 21 2004
By 
sandwich (Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
I loved 'Audition' and I've been trying to get my hands on Visitor Q, in the meanwhile I stumbled across Ichi. Considering it's by the same director, Takeshi Miike (a sort of Japanese Tarantino), and after reading up on the film's overall hype and reputation, I thought I'd give it a try. I loved the cold, sterile style of cinematography and the narrative in Audition. I was hoping this would be similar. An intelligent yet warped storyline, submersed with dry wit, cynicism and surrealism. I think there's definite elements from the 'Audition' side of things in there (particularly the torture scenes - which I was sorta hoping would be a tiny bit more graphic), but I didn't find it half as intriguing.
I guess the film mainly appealed to me because of my occasional bloodlust. I don't even mind if the gore is senseless and irrelevant sometimes, as long as it's depicted realistically and fits somehow, even symbolically, into the context of the plot. In the end, I found this film was really about pain which fills the empty void in life, illustrated in a sort of twisted s&m/fetish, murder and rape way. I find that the director sorta likes to experiment on the viewers, and his films are the idyllic sort of stimulus medium in which to 'freak us out' and then make us think about why we watched his film and probably why we enjoyed it and want to see another. I found that's the effect both Audition and Ichi had on me.
The only thing that kinda bothered me about the violence was how fake it was, like when Ichi slices through the first guy with his shoe-blade (which is the stupidest weapon, why not just use a knife for f**k sake) and he splits down the middle (although I'm pretty sure that was intended to be comedic as it is so obviously computer animated), or when Kakihara is punched in the mouth and his face wounds spread open. I can see how it was supposed to be satirical in a way. I think the biggest let-down was the ending, it seemed far too unplanned and incoherent. Kakihara's demise was sort of romanticised which held the greatest relevance to the theme. The fight scene was ridiculous though, and at that stage Ichi's nervousness becomes incredibly irritating.
Overall, generally it's an ok film, suitable for trippy late-night loneliness. Some really good parts and an interesting concept, but it tends to drag on and a lot of the latter scenes and violence don't really have any point. The films doesn't offer much in the way of exposition or explanation. If you're looking for a more profound and substantial film which relates to pain and loneliness, Audition is much better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Life without pain has no meaning..., April 7 2004
By 
Gentlemen, I intend to give your lives meaning..."
I'm not sure if I feel worse that I saw "Ichi the Killer" or that I actually enjoyed it! Probably neither actually. I saw "Suicide circle" a week before, and I feel I may have been somewhat hasty when I said in my review it was the weirdest movie I've ever seen - I think that "Ichi" might just have it beat...
Anyone who saw the humor in the "American Psycho" novel, or enjoyed "Very Bad Things" will definitely want to see this. The plot is fairly ludicrous and poorly explained. Some guys want to bust up some gang so they set a couple of gangs against each other. I think that's it - although there were plenty of mistakes in the subtitles and my Japanese isn't so hot, but I think I got most of it.
Anyway, the real attraction isn't the plot, it's the characters, Ichi and Kakihara. Ichi is a reluctant mass-murderer, while the Kakihara is a willing masochist. Should be fun when they meet, right? The premises and backstories are waaay out there and there's a subtle twist to the denouement and all in all it is a fantastically entertaining ride.
If you have the stomach to sit through it that is...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explanation (hopefully), March 28 2004
By 
Ra (Topeka, KS) - See all my reviews
Masochist: "Beat me!"
Sadist: "No!"
This is for those that think the violence is pointless or that the movie has no plot. If you haven't seen the movie you might not want to read this.
Jiji (the old man) is after Kakihara, why I have no idea. He wants to inflict as much pain as possible on Kakihara and his gang, which is difficult seeing how Kakihara is a masochist. Jiji is actually Ichi's old karate instructor (the muscular dude is the real Jiji the old man is his disguise). He knew Ichi when he killed his parents and used that to brainwash him. What he didn't know is that Ichi is a monster sadist who doesn't fully realize it. Jiji can't just go after Kakihara for no reason so he fixes it where he gets hired to do it, which is why he sets up Suzuki.
The violence in the movie comes in two forms, the comic book stylized violence which is almost comical and the ultra -realistic stuff, usually perpetrated against a female. The movie is not misogynistic, women are used because they are seen as being delicate and therefore the violence resonates more than it does violence against men. By contrasting these two kinds of violence Miike allows the viewer to set their own limitations for their consumption of violence; in fact, the whole sadism masochism thing could be seen as a reflection of this. (Miike could be saying that the person that perpetrates violence, the sadist (filmmaker), is no better or worse than the person who enjoys receiving it, the masochist, or viewer. (Miike makes the viewer identify with Kakihara by tricking us at the beginning.) The way in which Jiji (and Miike) get their revenge is through dissapointment. Instead of a huge violent showdown, ala DoA, we get a bawling Ichi laying on the ground a wreck. The part when Ichi kills the kid and goes after Kakihara is Kakihara's fantasy. Because no one inflicts pain on him he has to do it himself, just like when he cut out his tongue. This dissapointment is reinforced by flashing to him in his dungeon after Karen dissapointed him. And because the viewer was sitting their in anticipation of a big ol' violent confrontation we are revealed as sado-masochists ourselves.
A few cool things about this movie:
Miike spent two extra months on the CG (and extra money) on the part where Ichi splits the pimp in half. He could have made it more realistic looking in less time and for less money.
The customer in the hostess bar with Karen at the beginning was in Kill Bill. So were the guys that played Funaki and Takayama.
The guy that played Jiji is Shinya Tsukamoto the director of Tetsuo. The guy that played Kaneko is director Sabu.
At the beginning when they are in the hostess bar when Kakihara looks at Jiji's group if you look at him closely he looks exactly like Ichi. (Or is it just me?)
Well, those are just a few thoughts on this work of genius, I could probably go on all day. And if you can pick up Tom Mes's book "Agitator" about Takashi Miike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars c'mon guys, July 15 2004
By A Customer
Anyone who tries to take this film seriously is a fool and they're missing the point. Have you seen Dead Or Alive? Remember the last fifteen minutes of the final showdown and how over the top ridiculous it is? Ichi the Killer is pure entertainment in the same vein filled with scene after scene of gratuitous violence and torture for the sake of shock value. Kind of like those Lucio Fulci zombie flicks from the 70s. Throats slashed, tongues cut off, hot oil, razor sharp needles, the list goes on. The first hour or so focuses more on the violent aspects of the characters and the second hour focuses more on the characters themselves. It could have been a bit better if it did explain more about how the characters became the way they are but it certianly didn't detract from the story: a run-of-the-mill mob revenge flick. The only thing about this film I didn't like was the extreme violence, forced sex and mutilation of women. Perhaps this was a way of expressing how vile these characters really are but it seemed to be the only extreme thing about the movie I felt to be a bit unnecessary. Outside of that a very entertaining film. See this if you're a gore fan.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go see Ichi ASAP, March 27 2004
By 
AK Sawa (United States) - See all my reviews
This movie blows anything America has made in years right out the door. I thought this movie was going to be gory and sick by the trailer. I was wrong. This movie was a visual and mental rollercoaster. I hated the Matrix and its pathetic acting and "intellectual" story. I hate Tom Hanks and his sappy, overdramatic performances getting called "great". This is a movie where you actually care about the crazy characters because of amazingly believable acting and dialog. This is a movie where watching it without subtitles is still amazing because of the best combination of music and camera work since Taxi Driver. This is a movie every American film maker should be forced to watch in hopes that they see how ALL elements of a movie should be finely crafted, even if that movie is a CG gorefest. This is a lesson to Hollywood: crazy, visually explosive movies can be made well and have great acting and direction. Another reason to watch this movie is because Tadanobu Asano's Kakihara(pictured on the cover) is one of the best performances I can remember. Miike isn't Akira Kurosawa, but after seeing Spielberg and Scorsese self-destroy their own careers(AI, Minority Report, Gangs of New York) I would say that Takashi Miike my favorite modern director. Ichi the Killer is a must for film fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ichi the Killer' is Brutal and somewhat of a Stylish film, July 1 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ichi the Killer - R rated (DVD)
I loved `Audition' by Miike and so I had to see `Ichi.'. While the style is definitely Miike's, I found that I didn't like it quite as much as `Audition.' It is hard to care much about many of the people being tortured because there is no character development in most of them with the exception of Ichi and Kakihara. Kakihara likes to be tortured, but only by those who are the best at inflicting pain. Therefore he is very studied in the art of giving pain and practices this with relish. There is a poor slob in the movie who is tied to a chair and has grossly enlarged needles thrown at his exposed face and who knows what else is done to him before they get the idea to cut his unmentionables into several ribbons with a pair of scissors. While there was little to no character development with this man it is hard not to be sympathetic to his plight. I felt a large rush of horror even though I am a female.

Ichi is interesting and has a strangely boyish face for one who is so unbalanced and capable of massive human destruction. It is hard not to feel sympathy for him as well because he is manipulated and used by someone who engages in mentally torturing him to achieve his ends.

This film is not just a straight forward slasher as many critics have said - it grabs you from many different angles and keeps the brain ticking away throughout. One minute you're laughing your head off, and the next you're trying your hardest not to look away. Then two minutes later you're deep in thought giving both the main leads a good psychological going over. At the end of the film we get some mixed up mental messages and have to decide what to do with this information-Miike's trademark as far as I can tell.

Whilst there are people out there who will absolutely hate this film and find themselves trying not to vomit, those of you who can take some comic book ultra violence and have a slightly darker sense of humour and are as curious as I am can defiantly check this title out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars only rent or buy the unrated edition, July 12 2004
i made the mistake of renting this from my local commercial video store and as i waited in line i noticed that my copy was R-rated but i thought nothing of it. once i got home and popped the DVD in my player i was purely disappointed. the violent scenes are so completely edited out that at times i found myself scratching my head thinking "well what happened there?" such as the tempura/hot oil scene or the slicing the guy in half scene. i mean what happened to the prostitute? she trys to kill him and the next thing i know there's blood all over the wall and ichi is screaming. talk about major letdown. the editing completely ruins the continuity of the film and i found myself shutting off the movie less than an hour in and returning it to the video store complaining all the way. the next day i found the unrated version at the local independent video store and it was everything i expected in all of its blood splattered glory. great action packed film for those who are not squeamish.
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