Shinjuku Autoroo
1994 / 94m - Japan
Shinjuku Outlaw poster


February 26, 2007


Another interesting film for those who want to know how it all started for Miike. Shinjuku Outlaw is not part of his earliest work (which, to be honest, wasn't all that great), but marks the beginning of the period when Miike would grow into his own. It's really a typical Miike Yakuza flick, just not quite as refined as some of his later films.

The story follows a pretty basic Yakuza setup. It starts with a planned hit on a Yakuza boss, as one family tries the overthrow another. The hit is successful, but the killer gets injured and spends the next ten years in a coma. When he finally wakes up, the power balance between the two families has shifted dramatically , just not in the intended way.

People familiar with Miike's crime output should have a good idea what to expect. There are already flashes of Miike's future genius, the pacing is solid and the crime elements are well executed, but the polish and boldness are still largely missing. That makes Shinjuku Outlaw fun genre filler, as long as you don't expect a signature Miike extravaganza.