Sick, Twisted, and totally incredible!
TheWolf - wrote on 08/09/07
"Ichi The Killer" deals with an yakuza Kakihara (played by the diverse Tadanobu Asano) who along with his underlings starts a search for his missing boss. At the same time he finds himself chased by a mysterious assassin known only as Ichi. Kakihara's methods of extracting information become a similar sight throughout the film, with him torturing anyone that could know something about his boss.
The movie is presented as a dark comedy that feels more like a parody of humanity's most dark and hidden desires. With every character representing a sick and twisted version of a certain established type of behavior found in modern society. From the abused, passive and sexually inactive male being transformed into a crying psychopatic murderer whose's only excitement comes from seeing (or causing) massive displays of violence and rape (Ichi). To the violent gangster stereotype further villainized with the character of Kakihara whose never ending need to inflict pain to others or to himself has left him void to any other forms of arouse or emotion. Miike goes so far that he criticizes women in Japan for their often seen submissive behavior by introducing a more independent persona with the character of Karen, a notably western influenced person, her need to cause pain nearly borders Kakihara's.
The violence itself is presented in such an obscenely over-exaggerated way that one can not help but laugh at some of the situations created by it. Make no mistake this movie is definitely no kiddie ride, and people who can't stand horror or alternative films have no place in watching this. Miike has gone so far in this that even the title introduction in the begging is going to shock you. He also succeeds in creating a very dreamlike feel to the movie. More nightmarish than dreamlike actually. The finale itself is shockingly absurd with the two main characters "battling" it out from a third person's perspective.