A more straight-forward police flick from Miike, in the line of The Negotiator. That means a team of police investigators have about two hours to crack a case, tracking down a mean and twisted killer (played by Fujiwara - not really the most obvious cast, but he does a surprisingly solid job).
There's none of Miike's usual (or at least, what most Western fans thinks of as usual) weirdness here, instead it's a pretty slick but simple genre film that goes through the motions with just the right amount of flair. The only real surprise was that the meaningful body count was quite a bit higher than usually the case.
Miike 's experience shines through when he's doing simpler films like these, as Shield of Straw appears quite effortless while breezing through its two-hour runtime. Fine performances, decent cinematography, a solid build up and a neat finale make this a very pleasant and easy watch. The best kind of filler you can ask for.