City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls

3.0 out of 53.0 out of 53.0 out of 53.0 out of 5 3.0

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Utilizing a lovers-on-the-lam framework to shoot off some of his trademark techno-brat effects, Takashi Miike’s City of Lost Souls is as morose and disturbing as it is infused with a sense of the madcap. Japanese-Brazilian Mario (played with camera-mugging precociousness by Teah) and his lover Kai (Michele Reis) are planning an escape to anyplace that isn’t Tokyo. Trouble is that Chinese mob boss Ko (the silky, genderless Mitsuhiro Oikawa) is nursing a monster crush on Kai; he even has hand-painted doll toys representing her strewn about his cave hideout. So, of course, Mario and Kai figure that the best way to score the mother lode of cash needed to appease their piggish illicit travel agent is to double-cross Ko and Fushimi (Koji Kikkawa), the yazuka warlord he’s doing business with. Naturally, their plans derail and Miike reflects the confusion of their plight with sideshow set pieces like the Matrix-inspired cockfight and midget toilet humor. Miike stirs an uneasy blend between the histrionic and the sedate (every scene Ko appears in revolves around his hurricane-eye concentration), and the wackiness of many earlier scenes sets up for an emotional finale that is, in reality, the film’s ultimatum for misunderstood puppy love.

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DVD
Distributor
Vitagraph Films
Runtime
105 min
Rating
NR
Year
2000
Director
Takashi Miike
Screenwriter
Ichiro Ryu
Cast
Teah, Michele Reis, Patricia Manterola, Koji Kikkawa, Ren Osugi, Akaji Maro, Mitsuhiro Oikawa