Dead or Alive: Final | Chicago Reader

Dead or Alive: Final

Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition) makes movies like some people make sandwiches—this feature was the first of seven released in 2002—but he doesn't seem to worry much about the ingredients. Nominally a sequel to his 1999 yakuza thriller Dead or Alive, this reunites the two stars (Show Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi) in a silly sci-fi story set in the 24th century, when a gay dictator (Richard Cheung), striding around in a silk robe like a misplaced Tennessee Williams character, has outlawed procreation. He dispatches an enforcer (Takeuchi) to quash a revolt headed by a young couple and their son, but the rebels are protected by a blond android (Aikawa) who can run like the wind and catch bullets in his fist. The finale justifies Miike's reputation for audacity, but for the most part this is a sluggish knockoff of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, shot in tacky digital video through a yellow filter that seems to constitute the movie's entire production design. 90 min.

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