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City Of Lost Souls [2000] [DVD] by Teah

Preisvergleich Produktbild City Of Lost Souls [2000] [DVD] by Teah
A stylised and violent thriller, prolific director Miike Takashi's The City Of Lost Souls (2000) is set in the ganglands of Tokyo and pays homage to Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino and, in a daft, animated cockfighting sequence, The Matrix. Mario (Teah) is the Japanese-Brazilian gunslinger fresh out jail who, in a hilariously audacious action sequence, hijacks a helicopter to save his Chinese girlfriend Kei (Michelle Reis) from deportation. He must then secure 18 million yen to secure fake passports for both of them to make a new life for themselves in Australia. In a misconceived operation, Mario arrives at the lair of the intriguing Ko, Kei's ex-boyfriend--a self-assured, effeminate young exchange student--who is somehow head of a vicious gang of Triads. He is on the point of buying a consignment of cocaine from decadent, cold-blooded Yakuza gangster Fushimi when Mario's arrival triggers a shootout, with Mario escaping with the wrong suitcase. Now, in time-honoured True Romancefashion, Mario and Kei are on the run from the mob. Although visually tricksy with some strong set-pieces, The City of Lost Souls is rather hazy when it comes to story and characterisation. We get little sense of the runaway couple as people. A young blind girl is introduced into the tale and there are romantic moments between Mario and Kei but these feel like sugary palliatives to the bloodshed rather than touching moments. Better perhaps to check out Takashi's Audition, a brilliantly gruesome satire on male Japanese attitudes towards womanhood. This is a flashier, faster but less artistically satisfying affair. On the DVD: The City of Lost Souls is presented in video aspect ratio 1.85:1, with reasonable clarity and sharpness. However, the English subtitles are a little pidgin and slapdash in places, none of which improves the main special feature, a rather dull and vague interview with director Takashi. --David Stubbs
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