I know it's a small field and a low bar, but that doesn't mean Takashi Miike doesn't deserve some kind of fancy prize shaped like Sonic the Hedgehog for this movie. Miike was the best possible call to direct an adaptation of Sega's gangster game Ryu ga Gotoku (here released as Yakuza), as there's nothing the man-- perhaps best known here for his adaptation of the ultraultraviolent manga Ichi the Killer-- does better than yakuza and cartoonish excess.
Our hero is standard badass Kazuma Kiryu: as the player character of a videogame, he is an unstoppable ass-kicking monster who we first see casually beating the shit out of a small army of rival gangsters in a supermarket. Supermarkets! They're great places to get in a fight! He's trying to find a little girl's mom, who is apparently tangled up in some crazy missing-money business. Meanwhile, a rival gangster who struts around town posing and clubbing everything in front of him with a baseball bat is hunting down his old friend Kiryu-chan, who he heard just got out of the joint and who he really, really wants to have an awesome fight to the death with. These people-- and the police, government agents, and a whole town of other assorted crazies-- eventually all collide in a big mess of gunpowder and blood and gut punches and baseballs and broken bones. Who wins? The viewer!
Steve told me it's crazy faithful to the game, down to the locations and the moves in the fight scenes. He also pointed out the cameo by Sega designer Toshihiro Nagoshi. I'm a bad Sega fan because I still haven't played this game yet. Shame on me. I'll tell you this, though: the film has an amazing "videogame moment" that's too good to spoil. Plus sweet yakuza music. I'd really love the soundtrack to this movie: I would walk really slowly down the street with it playing. I would lean back and cock my head sideways and swagger.
In summary, you cannot afford to miss a movie with a shotgun Mexican standoff.