Takashi Miike is back to his old yakuza tricks in the exhilarating ’First Love’ (TIFF review)
Leo is a young boxer in Tokyo. In an important fight he suddenly goes down without taking a big hit. And after having a brain scan the doctor tells Leo he has a tumor that will be impossible to remove. His life is over, and Leo is devastated.
Without giving away the whole story, Leo accidentally ends up in a crazy rollercoaster involving a young disturbed girl he tries to save, the yakuza, the police and the Chinese mafia.
In a lot of ways 'First Love' is more rounded and less crazy than the yakuza movies Takashi Miike got recognition for in the West. But that's not to say he lost his old tricks. There are rolling heads, screaming yakuza, sword fights, drugs, lot’s of drugs, and just a lot of entertainment along the way.
But these things are all part of the larger story, and not the story itself. A story that has so many characters and criminals trying to get rid of each other, the final shootout is of epic proportions.
‘First Love’ is not Miike’s most thoughtful work, but it’s a master showing off his skills one more time for all his fans.
#TIFF19 Public Screenings: Fri Sep 13, 11:59PM / Sat Sep 14, 7PM / Sun Sep 15, 10PM