Case Number 23304

YAKUZA WEAPON (BLU-RAY)

Well Go Usa // 2011 // 106 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 11th, 2012

The Charge

Tough as nails, armed to the teeth, pissed-off, and looking for a fight.

Opening Statement

More Japanese insanity courtesy of Sushi Typhoon, a studio that somehow manages to release films that make less sense than their name.

Facts of the Case

Shozo Iwaki (Tak Sakaguchi) is a former Yakuza hitman who declares war on a big criminal boss after his father is murdered. Though our hero makes some solid progress in wiping out the big guy's empire, his task is cut short by an unfortunate encounter with giant bullets. Down a pair of limbs, Shozo returns to battle, now sporting a minigun attached to his right arm and a rocket launcher in lieu of a left leg. Violence ensues.

The Evidence

That's a riveting synopsis, huh? Guns for arms, bazookas for legs, and an ill-tempered ex-Yakuza embarking on a bloody revenge quest? And I didn't even mention the cybernetic penile implant. Unfortunately, Yakuza Weapon fails to live up to the over-the-top insanity it promises.

Make no mistake, there's craziness to be found here. Blood splatters (most is CGI) and a crazy guy with a robot wiener hanging out of his pants...that's about all I remember from this experience. These days, with so many insane Japanese imports making their way to U.S. shores, if you want to differentiate from the masses, you need to bring the wacky. It was just a month ago I saw a Japanese movie featuring a car made of zombies and a woman attacking people with her umbilical-attached-infant.

That said, I am happy to offer a shout-out to Tak Sakaguchi. The guy cuts a solid badass, but the material doesn't serve him well. What else doesn't serve him: the whole guns-for-arms gag. These accessories don't show up until about two-thirds the way through the film and the result is a cop out; when the situation calls for it, Shozo's arm transforms into the gun using iffy CGI. Most of the time, he's just running around with normal limbs. Evil Dead II this is not.

The Blu-ray: a clean 1.78:1/1080p transfer that transmits the lunacy well, a loud and active 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and a spinoff short film called Takuzo Weapon.

Closing Statement

There was some potential, but Yakuza Weapon has already fled my sub-conscious.

The Verdict

Guilty. Next time, spring for some props.

Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 75
Story: 60
Judgment: 66

Perp Profile
Studio: Well Go Usa
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Japanese)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurette
* Short Film

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1669604/combined