Ichi the Killer (2001)

Pros
  • Torture scenes are extremely intense and surreal
  • Kakihara is a complete badass and carries the movie, a standout character
  • A small dose of dark humor....you gotta look real deep to find it though
  • A dark yet interesting premise (doesn't get much more bizarre than this)
  • The tongue scene is completely crazy
  • The opening scene where Kakihara is smoking looks sweet
  • Kakihara's excitement over Ichi really pushes the movie along and gets the viewer excited as well for their eventual meeting

Cons
  • The character, Ichi, is a letdown, he is extremely over the top
  • The CGI is horrendous (I know the movie didn't have a high budget, but it's still rough)
  • Note that the poster on the right is a picture of Kakihara, NOT Ichi (I unfortunately fell victim to this)
  • Disappointing final confrontation between the two leads is somewhat disappointing, it's very brief
  • Convoluted story-line to say the least
  • Another dream-like/ambiguous ending (something Miike does quite often), definitely something that will be polarizing
  • The movie feels very long at 2 hours and 10 minutes, the pacing is an issue in the movie

Score: 5/10
Overall, Ichi The Killer is a long and tedious film, the movie would have received a lower score if it was not for its extremely unique plot, which I loved. Though it is a bit grotesque and unusual, it was something that seemed right up my alley (I enjoy high concept horror movies). The main character is as bizarre as they come, which is great, if it weren't for Kakihara, the movie would have been flat out terrible. His growing excitement towards Ichi is great, the more he gets anxious and excited, the more we are pulled in as a viewer

But a film with so much potential is squandered by the disappointing character known as Ichi, he is so over the top that it completely ruins the character. I hated everything about his character, from the actor who plays him, to his excessive jitteriness, and to his convoluted past. This is where the movie lost me as a viewer, so much relied on this character and I couldn't buy into it. Before the two characters meet, we are given glimpses of Ichi and for me, they were nothing but disappointing. 

And as the for the climax where they finally meet, I should have known the movie would throw a curveball (it is Miike after all). But what you can say about the movie is that Miike has a very unique style, which is bittersweet, I can appreciate and admire it, but I don't always enjoy it (like the case with Ichi the Killer).
Ichi the Killer (2001) on IMDb

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