Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) – Film Review

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Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

Film Review

Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Hideaki Ito, Koichi Sato, Yusuke Iseya
Certificate: 18

by Sarah Morgan

Mention Takashi Miike to cinema-lovers and a whirlwind of violent images will probably flash through their minds.

Sukiyaki Western Django film review posterThis is the man who brought us Audition and Ichi the Killer, and has gained notoriety not just in his native Japan but across the globe for his depiction of ultra-violence and sexual perversions.

So Sukuyaki Western Django came as something of a surprise. Whether you enjoy his work or not, one thing Miike’s output usually cannot be described as is dull, and yet this is – in fact, it’s one of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen.

“Overblown”

It’s meant as a homage to Spaghetti Westerns, but falls completely flat, relying on overblown stunts to give it life. It doesn’t help that the Japanese-speaking cast have English dialogue that clearly doesn’t come easily to them; their performances are largely stilted as a result.

Oh yes, and Quentin Tarantino’s in it too. Let’s face it, he may be a great writer and director, but he’s no actor. Perhaps he thought being a long way from Hollywood might help him, but he’s frankly embarrassing. I’m also guessing he added a few colloquialisms to the script too, but they just sound hokey.

The plot focuses on two rival gangs who are both searching for treasure hidden in a remote mountain town. Into their midst wanders a lone gunman, who shakes things up rather a lot while trying to come to terms with his emotional scars.

Sukiyaki Western Django film review gun

“Thrown together”

Plenty of blood is shed and that’s about it. I can’t even describe it as well-directed or stylish, it just feels as if it was hastily thrown together in about five minutes, or that Miike simply couldn’t be bothered with adding his usual polish to the proceedings.

Sergio Leone is probably spinning in his grave; goodness only knows what Clint Eastwood thinks, but it’s probably not something very kind.

Performances4
Direction3
Screenplay5
Originality3
Cinematography5
Extras7
Bonus Materials:
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio: English 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo
English and Spanish Subtitles
Sukiyaki Western Django : Extended Cut (HD, 159:57, with Optional Japanese Subtitles)
Making of Featurette (SD, 52:37, In Japanese with English Subtitles
Deleted Scenes (SD, 06:37)
Sizzle Reel (SD, 03:12)
Promotional Clips (SD, 02:58)
US and Japanese Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots (SD)
Sales Points
Talented ensemble cast including Hideaki Ito, Yusuke Iseya, Kaori Momoi and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
From acclaimed legendary cult film director Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins, Audition)
Sukuyaki Western Django is released on Blu-ray by FilmRise
4.5
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