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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.08.13] Japan thriller

Takashi Miike has always been a favourite, delivering everything from ridiculous kids movies to his trademark ultra-violent yakuza movies and I'm certainly of the mind that new Miike is always worth checking out (if the movies manage to make it out this way) but his upcoming Shield of Straw which will debut in competition at Cannes, is looking like a very common, middle of the road action extravaganza. I can only hope that the full movie offers up a little more because otherwise, this is definitely a head scratcher. Not for Miike but for the festival.

"Kill Kunihide Kiyomaru, and I will pay you 1 billion Yen." This is the ad placed in all the main newspapers in Japan. In placing the ad, the powerful multi-billionnaire Ninagawa puts an irresistible price on the head of the man he believes to be his granddaughter's killer. Realising he has become a target for millions of people, Kiyomaru turns himself in at the Fukuoka Police Station. Four officers are dispatched to bring Kiyomaru back to Tokyo, risking their own life, but now any number of assassins lie in wait on the 1.200km journey. The trip becomes a hellish chase, with potential killers at every turn. Will the police get Kiyomaru to Tokyo to face justice, or will justice of a different nature prevail.

It definitely sounds like a pretty good idea and the trailer does suggests flashes of Miike's unflinching love for gore but I'm just not sure.


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