Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: Bodyguard Kiba (1993)

Bodigaado Kiba (that's Bodyguard Kiba to you, I guess?) protects people for money. Sometimes that means protecting frightened American businessmen from random assassins merely to establish that he protects people for money. Kiba also gets assignments from the master of his Dojo, and apparently it's a huge fucking deal to be a part of a Dojo and to war with other Dojos in other regions. Kiba is a very nice man but will punch things when he must, and he mostly must. Very suddenly, he will get a weird "Years Later..." jump that doesn't appear to change any of the characters' appearance or context, and Kiba will get a new assignment wrought with danger and sudden fits of battling.

Takashi Miike made the jump from television director to film director here, and the difficulty in pinpointing his style is even more difficult. Everything is simply executed, to the V-formation dialogue scenes to the cutaway-filled fight scenes. Like most of his films, there is a diametric emphasis on movement behind characters who are still, which meshes weird in a punchpunch movie. I think here is where he learned to control violence involving a crowd of actors in a small location. Miike's favorit-ist thing to do is put two characters against a giant moving body of water. WHATSITMEAN?

So anyhow. Story consits of following Kiba as he protects his client. Obstacles appear in his way. A conflict arises and continues without much of his involvement. Will the good guys survive? Yeah...

Oh, another word on this early Miike: that television work must have done a number on him because as soon as he gets the chance to do a sex scene, OH MAN does he ever do one. His characters are drenched in sweat, the lens is burned with red light and Miike gets positions, positions, close-ups of bouncing tits, more positions... god, I get it, sheesh. Although I suppose I should be enjoyed this celebration of two characters who love each other because very very soon, it's all RAPE RAPE RAPE.

Bodyguard Kiba a straight-forward, low budget, modern kung-fu film that is easy enough to watch other than it looks like it was made a decade before it actually was. I suppose it could have been worse.


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