If you want a more experimental and serious side of Miike, this film comes recommended. The film has its share of weird moments, but all the weirdness does seem to serve a higher, more artistic goal.
You do have to be open to Miike's disturbing sense of humor and forgiving for its technical flaws, but once that is covered Visitor Q is one of the most hilariously funny films out there.
Yakuza Apocalypse is the kind of Miike I adore. The film looks good, sounds good, is stacked with crazy ideas and even weirder characters and dares to cross the line of common sense more than once.
Needless to say, this turns Izo into a pretty tough experience. As the minutes pass and the bodies pile up, the film starts to weigh on its audience.
Don't expect a typical horror/mystery flick (despite many claims of Lynch-like scenes), Gozu is a superb comedy meant for people who like their slice of cinema a little different.
There's enough madness here to fill 3 or 4 separate films.
Ninja Kids!!! is the perfect example of demented Japanese kids entertainment that's weird enough to appeal to adults, at least those with some memories of their lost childhood.
The Great Yokai War was Miike's first venture into big budget cinema aimed at a younger audience.
The good stuff
As the Gods Will is a typical Miike flick in the sense that it's pretty much pointless to compare it to other films out there.
Starts where the first one left off. More crazy Miike antics wrapped up as a Yakuza comedy. It's not his most insane work, but there's some seriously random stuff in there that's sure to turn some heads. Extremely entertaining from start to finish, might as well make it into a full-blown trilogy.
Miike adaptation of the famous manga/anime franchise. For a Miike film pretty slick and commercial, for a commercial film pretty outragous and out there. JoJo is a fun, creative and original superhero film, the kind that Marvel and DC seem incapable of making.
Zebraman 2 is not all that easy to recommend. Depending on what you expect or demand from a sequel, it's either a missed opportunity or a definite improvement over the first film.
Dead or Alive 2: Birds is an important step in Miike's progression as a director. It's a well-rounded film, one that works as a drama as well as a crime flick.
Miike does musical meets comedy meets claymation, it's no surprise then that the result is extremely amusing. While in fact a remake of a South-Korean film, Miike's style is so unique that it's hardly worth comparing both films. It's not one of Miike's finest films, but definitely worth seeking out when you're in the mood for something different.
That said, there is still plenty to enjoy here. It seems that with each new film Miike raises the bar on production level. For Love's Sake looks absolutely stunning, from start to finish.
The film never slacks and even gives the viewer a nice look into the whole gang structure in between the fights, making it a little more than just another butt-kicking action flick.
The mash-up between samurai and western universes isn't exactly new, but leave it to Miike to turn it into something completely unique. Apart from the Japanese actors struggling with the English dialogue and a less than stellar cameo from Tarantino, this a vintage Miike ride that delights from start to finish.
It doesn't ruin a film like The City of Lost Souls, but it does take away part of the appeal. There's still plenty of fun to be had with this film though.
Ace Attorney is a Miike blockbuster. The weirdness is kept to a minimum, but the entertainment value is high and the film definitely has its moments of brilliance.
Crows Zero II will probably appeal to the people who liked the first film and can bear a second, almost identical, serving.
A lesser known Miike, but that doesn't mean it's less fun. One of his last Yakuza-themed films, but don't expect anything too serious. The film is loosely based on the Yakuza game franchise and is a hoot from start to finish. Action, crime, comedy, a few typical Miike moments. Not his best work, but still worth a look.
Part drama, part subdued revenge, which a big finger pointing at the passive attitude of many instances and people in this film, the film impresses until the very end.
A great way to end a totally bonkers trilogy. Aikawa and Takeuchi return put an end to their endless fighting, this time in a futuristic version of Hong Kong. There are some great action scenes, some solid dramatic interludes and a couple of vintage Miike moments. Fans of the series won't be disappointed, others do best to watch part one and two first.
Graveyard of Honor
Young Thugs: Nostalgia
Fudoh: The New Generation
Osaka Tough Guys
Slightly disappointing, especially considering all the hype. The film feels a little tepid and too streamlined for a Miike film. There isn't enough craziness, there is too much focus on plot and it's just a little monotone. It's not a bad film really, but within Miike's oeuvre it is quickly eclipsed by much better films.
Miike doing a more restrained film. 2018 has been a quiet year for him, with just a single release on the tables. There's still some weirdness of course, but it's the blend of science and fantasy rather than the characters and events that stand out here. Well-made, entertaining and amusing, but not a Miike classic.
Blade of the Immortal
Over Your Dead Body
Shield of Straw
Lesson of the Evil
Takashi Miike returns ... once again. There really is no stopping the man, and though not every film is a masterpiece, even his relatively flawed ones can be more than entertaining. Aku No Kyoten is one of Miike's more mainstream efforts, a film that bears the unmistakable stamp of Miike, only in a slightly watered-down and more acceptable fashion.
Aku No Kyoten bares some resemblance to Nakashima's Kokuhaku, especially when comparing the setup of both films. Seiji is a teacher with an impeccable moral, always ready to help his students with their more intimate problems. He vows to rid the school of all nasty business, but secretly the man has an agenda of his own. One that is revealed during a sprawling 45 minute finale.
The first hour is a bit tame though. There are some quirky characters, but compared to other Miike films they aren't all that interesting. The biggest flaw is no doubt the casting of Hideaki Ito (who plays Seiji), an actor who lacks the charisma and flair to play the character he is supposed to be. With him present some of the better moments of the film miss their target. A real shame, because Miike goes pretty wild during the final 45 minutes. Nothing he hasn't done before, but some of the principal characters go down with surprising ease, something I'm sure not everyone will appreciate. Miike fans will rejoice when the film makes its way to a solid climax though.
After a slow start, Aku No Kyoten delivers the goods, even when its main actor lacks the skills to impress the audience. By then it's just a case of too little, too late. It's still a pretty great flick though, but when watching a Miike film I expect a little extra and that's clearly missing here.
Death of a Samurai
The Man in White
One Missed Call
Deadly Outlaw: Rekka
Ichi the Killer
The Guys from Paradise
The Bird People in China
Young Thugs: Innocent Blood
Full Metal Yakuza
The Way to Fight
The Lion Standing in the Wind
The Man in White Part 2: Requiem for the Lion
One of Miike's final DTV releases. A sequel to The Man in White (released in the same year), which I remember liking a little better (although I'll be honest, I'm mostly going by my own ratings here, I don't remember that much from the first film). Not too surprising, because this is pretty basic Miike stuff.
Part 2 is also a full-blown Yakuza film. The usual themes of honor and revenge are abundantly present, you won't miss out on the usual Yakuza shouting, gun action, finger clipping and whatnot either. Miike is more than capable to make these types of films work and that's exactly what he does, without putting in excessive effort.
The film looks okay, but it's nothing special. From time to time Miike plays around with the cinematography and soundtrack to try out some new things, but overall it's a little too sloppy to leave a big impression. The actors do a decent job, the plot is never boring (unless you hate the usual Yakuza intrigue) and the pacing is on point. Nothing too spectacular, just a solid Miike Yakuza film.
New Third Gangster 2
Shinjuku Triad Society
Bodyguard Kiba 2
Worthy but flawed
Man, Next Natural Girl: 100 Nights In Yokohama
New Third Gangster: Outbreak Kansai Yakuza Wars
A very early, somewhat lackluster Miike film. Maeda and Takeuchi make a fine couple and the comedy is fun and light-hearted, but the poor presentation and the total lack of vintage Miike moments make this a film that is for completists and hardcore fans of the director. It's not a terrible film, but it doesn't stand out at all, especially not in Miike's oeuvre.
Dead or Alive
Ambition without Honor
Bodyguard Kiba: Combat Apocalypse 2
A lot of incomprehensible English dialogue makes this film much harder to appreciate than necessary. Far from Miike's best work and there is quite a bit of pointless filler, on the other hand the film does feature pretty decent action scenes and some small hints of the craziness that would make him famous. For fans only.
Ambition without Honor 2
Very cheap, lazy and lifeless sequel. It's another one of those uncharacteristically tame, early Miike films that feels more like a quick directing exercise rather than an actual film. There's some basic Yakuza drama and a pretty violent finale, but that's hardly enough to win over anyone but the most die-hard genre fans. Avoid unless you've seen all the Miike there is to see.