In 2007 Japanese director Miike Takashi made a live-action film adaptation of the first game in the Yakuza series: Yakuza: Like A Dragon. Despite living in Japan and being a fan of Miike's work, I had never really gotten around to seeing the movie even in the five years since it came out. But with the newly released Yakuza 5 staring at me ominously from my bookshelf, I thought it would be a good idea to get a refresher in Yakuza lore by popping in the DVD.
I was more than a little excited going in to this film because, after all, I have called Miike's adaptation of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney the greatest video game movie ever made. But there was no small part of me that worried it would be one of his more ultra-violent movies, akin to Ichi the Killer (of which the gore was just too much for me). But Like a Dragon turned out to be neither a lighthearted criminal drama like Ace Attorney nor an ultra-violent gorefest like Ichi. Rather it was simply one of the most enjoyable black comedies I have ever seen. [Note: Minor spoilers ahead.]