DEAD OR ALIVE is another ultra-violent Yakuza film from Takashi Miike that finds an aging cop pitted against a ruthless gang that is terrorizing the streets of Japan. As with many of Miike's other films, there is an even blend of action, gratuitous gore, and dark humor instilled in the script, with an assortment of characters that are as bizarre as they are depraved. The action sequences come like a storm, with fast-paced fire battles and frantic editing that will appease any Tarantino or Rodriguez fan. Though the shootouts are superbly handled, they are far outnumbered by the often dull and drawn out police work, which follows the same basic plotting you would have in any other average gangster flick. Miike still manages to pull off interesting camera set-ups and visuals to carry the film, but what is most memorable to any fan is the ridiculous over the top ending. While it isn't quite as entertaining as ICHI THE KILLER, there are many similarities in style that Miike perfected in the later film.
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