Hara-Kiri(Remake By Takashi Miike) Is Just Okay Enough to Spare Miike from Committing Seppuku Himself
Unnecessary but creditable remake of Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece. (To be sure, the similarities between the two films are so stark that it's more like new performance -- in the vein of theater or concert -- than a standard movie remake that takes considerable liberties in deviating from its predecessors.) Directed by Miike, most (in)famous for mindless exercises in sleaze and sadism. The opening segment features an impressive balance of stylistics and somberness, the long middle section told in flashback is adequate but flat, and the finale is exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. Still, even if this film is a transgression of sorts, it isn't so dishonorable as to call for Miike's self-disembowelment. But then, the freak might enjoy it. The question is why such a vile and vulgar director was summoned to work on such a prestige-hungry production.