This film starts with a yakuza, Shozo Iwaki, fighting a group of American soldiers in some South American jungle. Starting with an homage to Rambo, Tak Sakaguchi’s “Yakuza Weapon” quickly ascends to the realms of tongue-in-cheek over the top violence and gore that only Asian cinema seems to reach. He gets word after single-handedly wiping out the tens of machine gun-toting baddies that his father has been murdered back in Japan, so he heads home and discovers his clan in disarray. The script by Sakaguchi and Yudai Yamaguchi both points out and pokes fun at the idea of honor among the yakuza and while it’s over-the-top, the story is still pretty straightforward.
In an early announcement to retailers, Well Go USA is prepping ‘Yakuza Weapon’ for a Blu-ray release on February 7, so this is obvious good news for Westerners. Another obvious point? Yoshihiro Nishimura was in charge of effects which is why the splatter and weapons were really well done. One effect/prop that I loved was the naked woman weapon. It’s a tongue-in-cheek, epically comedic action flick with homages to lone-warrior, samurai and martial arts movies of the 1970s and ‘80s. But before that, Shozo must also deal with Tetsuo (Jun Murakami), his former best friend who’s fallen into drugs and hard times, and has been coerced by the Kurawaki gang to find and kill Shozo! Can Shozo bring himself to destroy his own best friend?
This plothole is where things get interesting. More stuff happens but I don’t want to waste your time here. All I will say about the second half is that Iwaki’s arm is replaced with a M61 Vulcan cannon and his leg with a rocket launcher. doesn’t take but a few minutes of watching to realize Yakuza Weapon belongs to the recent genre of Japanese cinema that sprouted from the worldwide success of The Machine Girl… low budget, loaded with effects both practical and CGI, unconcerned with acting skills, and wonderfully perverted.
Anyone who is a fan of this genre should like it, also I think that this could be an better introduction than some of the other works for people who aren’t too familiar with these films. This is not a movie concerned with subtlety. Sakaguchi plays the lead with the perfect mix of suave, cool and ridiculousness. Of course, like I have stated throughout this review, the action is cartoonish but fun. All in all, this is well worth your time and a film you should pick up when it is released on video very soon.