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The City Of Lost Souls

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The City Of Lost Souls + Dead Or Alive [DVD] [1999] + Dead Or Alive 2 [DVD] [2000]
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Product details

  • Actors: Koji Kikkawa, Ren Osugi, Michelle Reis, Teah
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Colour
  • Language: Italian, Japanese
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Dynit
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00423B8K2


un brasiliano tosto e vendicativo fa scappare la sua ragazza dal furgone che la sta trasportando in prigione. insieme tenteranno poi il colpo della vita: rubare una borsa piena di soldi a due mafiosi durante uno scambio di droga. ma qualcosa va storto.vendetta, azione, sparatorie e ironia: il marchio di fabbrica di miike e' ben presente in questo b-movie sospeso tra dramma e fumetto

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alexander White on 12 Jan 2003
Format: DVD
Miike Takashi (or Takashi Miike as he's shown in credits) is one of asia's finest directors. He is in every sense of the word an 'autuer'. But unlike most autuers, he is often mis-understood and not fully appreciated. His films are consistant, connected, and show a natural progression for the most part. And as he somehow manages to churn out around 7 films every year ( !!!! ) he is surely one of the hardest working film-makers in the world.
Having seen his beautifully creepy Audition, i read great things about his others works, and seeing that 'Dead or Alive' and 'The City of the Lost Souls' were both out here i quickly snapped them up. I just watched 'City...' and will be off in a sec to watch 'Dead or Alive', but havent yet so i apologise for the lack of reflection between the two.
City of the Lost Souls is a crzy, primary colored, fierce look at the seedy underworld of Asia. But unlike most films like this, it centers around a romance story, that whilst never really being explored, is tragically beautiful enough to keep the story going. The editing of this film is clearly were it made its mark, and i applaud it for its gorgeous and inventive scenes of metaphorical madness, and imaginative sequences of magical make-believe. Like a honey coated cross between Natural Born Killers, True Romance, Doom Generation, Nowhere, and a Wong Kar-Wai flick, we are driven through cut after cut of almost surreal visual narrative.
Whilst it's slightly hard to follow in places, and is really only worth watching if (like me) you crave visual substance and pure creative energy, the film still manages to carve out a seat for itself amongst Asia's finest.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I chose this movie to see the actor 'Mitsuhiro Oikawa', who played 'Ko' in it. This is one of the early films of him. In that point it's worth watching, although the film is little bit loose(distracting?).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles on 7 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
But I enjoyed Gozu a lot more. Yes, the energy and ideas were there, but regular violence substituted for a more satisfying plot. Nice to see a bit of Capoeira in a film, it could have been made more of. Gozu is the one to see, so far for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of the cooler movies of recent years 21 Oct 2004
By Wheelchair Assassin - Published on
Format: DVD
It seems that when people in the know discuss Takashi Miike, it's not long before the name Quentin Tarantino comes up. That comparison is certainly not inapt, as Miike shares Tarantino's gift for showing viewers a world in which conventional notions of law and morality are virtually nonexistent. That said, "City of Lost Souls" is the work of a visual stylist who clearly stands on his own abilities. As one would expect from the guy who made the action classic "Dead or Alive," "City of Lost Souls" explores a dark underside of Japanese life filled with unsavory characters and violent happenings. Also like "Dead or Alive," the movie explores (though admittedly not in much depth) the interactions of different peoples in Japanese soceity, in this case the Japanese, the Chinese, and Brazilians. Perhaps most notable, though, is the presence of a high level of bizarre and even surreal elements that set Miike well apart from the action-movie pack. Of course, it's all filmed in Miike's skewed, frenetic style, which makes the movie distinctive enough on its own.

The plot, to the extent that one exists, centers around Mario and Kei, one of the more unlikely couples you'll see in a movie. Mario is a deadly Brazilian criminal who opens the movie by shooting up a bar in his home country; Kei is an absurdly gorgeous apprentice hairdresser who starts the movie on a bus waiting to be deported to her native China. That all changes, though, when Mario stages a dramatic rescue involving an assault rifle and a commandeered helicopter. While the relationsip of Kei and Mario clearly takes center stage here, it's equally clear early on that this is no ordinary love story.

It's after that rescue scene that things start to get a little complicated. Trying to get out of the country, Mario and Kei wind up getting caught between the Yakuza and the Chinese Triad when they steal some cocaine during a deal between the two sides. Pretty soon both groups are on their trail, meaning Mario, Kei, and the tight-knit Brazilian community around them are all in danger of catching a bullet at any moment. Making a bad situation worse, the Yakuza leader, Fushimi, is an unhinged sociopath staging a power grab, and the top Triad, Ko, is Kei's ex-boyfriend and still hasn't quite let go of her in his mind. So, to sum up, the Yakuza and the Triad are both after Kei and Mario, Ko is after Kei, the Brazilian community is soon after Mario, and Fushimi is seemingly after anyone who gets within shooting distance.

Naturally, Miike uses this plot and the accompanying explosive situation as a springboard for the expected series of twisted happenings and profuse bloodshed. Whatever this movie may lack in terms of plot or character development is more than made up for in sheer visual appeal. Obviously a gifted director of action, Miike also impresses with his knack for constructing the kind of set pieces that you just won't see in mainstream American action movies. Mixed in with the conventional shootings, beatings, and explosions are such decidedly unconventional elements as a cockfighting scene inspired by "The Matrix" of all movies, a scene in which Kei sets a guy on fire with some Vodka, and a ping-pong match with deadly consequences for one of the participants. Better yet, much like "Dead Or Alive," the movie hits its climax with a frenetic, shoot-'em-up finale that's sort of like a miniature version of one of John Woo's legendary denouements.

In the end, while it is a bit shallow, "City of Lost Souls" is a more than sufficiently entertaining film for those into the genre. Miike's highly caffeinated, stylish direction is perfect for those with short attention spans, and the whole movie makes a brilliant piece of eye candy. It may not be great, but it looks great, and that's plenty close enough. Any movie with this many cool shots and bullets flying around is worth checking out.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"People in this world, we have no place to go..." 15 Mar 2004
By Henry Platte - Published on
Format: DVD
At the risk of sounding very pretentious, I think that some of the negative reviews miss the point of the film. First of all, I agree that the action sequences are excellent, but there is another dimension here. This is not a conventional action movie; it is about desperate, lonely people looking for a sense of place. They behave so recklessly not because of courage but out of desperation. Even Fushimi, one of the only main characters who is not an expatriate, is tortured by a sense of Japan's waning nationalism. Overall, I think it's an outstanding movie: stylish, smart and not entirely without depth. And the 'play ping-pong?' scene surely deserves a place in the modern cinema pantheon along with the laser scene in 'Goldfinger.'
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fun film 25 Jun 2004
By Paul Kath - Published on
Format: DVD
To me this would be the most overlooked Takashi Miike film. Or to say that's it's more overlooked of his region-1 DVD releases.
This film is nothing like i've ever seen done. It takes multiple languages/cultures and clashes them in a funny, violent and all around fun film. The characters are kinda cartoonish but they all have a dark edge to them. The lead man Mario (played by japanese-brazilian porno star Teah) barely speaks thoughout the film but he has some sorta superhuman edge to him. The story here is that Mario just got outta jail and his woman Kei is risking deportation so after crashing the deportation bus and killing a few people he gets Kei, not before they envelop a plan to rip off some coke from a yakuza/triad/russian mob connection. Yeah it's confusing but easy to follow. The soundtrack is awesome, with some punkish tunes to fit the mood and more mellow songs to fit that mood. It all works well. There is violence, and lots of it, a few quick but awesome shootouts and some bloodier goings on but not as brutal as other Miike films (DOA for one). The acting is good, but like I said it's a bit cartoonish and over-the-top at times. The ending is well.... A letdown in terms of quality. But this is still a great film, with lotsa style (a CG chicken cockfight for one term), humor (a midget, slapstick humor) and just plain fun.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very nice juicy crime flick. 13 Jan 2003
By Amanda - Published on
Format: DVD
I've been exploring the works of Miike since first stumbling upon "Audition" back when it hit the art house theater circuits over a year or so ago, and while that movie still seems to be his plot-driven-film climax, "City Of Lost Souls" has turned out to be the most entertaining and re-watchable Miike movie to come out of my viewings. Plot, violence, tenderness, action, it all seems quite balanced in this one, and the ending is something I never even saw coming, and was a wee bit angry at for a split-second, yet after thinking on it, I really could accept it. Overall, quite enjoyable and involving, my favorite Miike to date.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Disaster 13 Jan 2003
By Brent Figiel - Published on
Format: DVD
Anyone familiar with the work of Japanese director Takishi Miike knows that his movies have a distinct tendency to take you off of the fence and force you to make a concrete decision: namely, "I dig this movie" or "I hate this movie." ("Audition" and "Visitor Q" being perfect examples.)
While many people would dismiss this as plotless, violent trash there are deeper themes afoot to those who care to look.
The plot itself is a convoluted mess about a monosyllibic Brazilian/Japanese thug named Mario (played with nihilistic cool by Teah) and his gorgeous Chinese lover, Kei (Michele Reis) who rob the Chinese mafia (led by the ping pong loving, effeminate gangster Ko) and the Yakuza (fronted by the brutish, ultra-violent kingpin, Fushimi) during a drug deal in order to get cash the flee the country with. Things go awry, as they're wont to do in these kinds of movies. Mayhem insues.
However, the real story isn't the story at all. It's pretty much a mashed up collage of violent imagery. There's also a massive absurdist streak (CGI cockfighting with the birds pulling off Matrix-style moves) and an evil sense of humor (one of Fushimi's poor victims gets beaten to a pulp, lit on fire and then run over with a car). The characters pose and posture, the dialogue is minimal, and the scenes are shot with a hyper-kinetic verve. Imagine Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" or Tarentino's "Pulp Fiction" on cheap drugs and you're off to a good start.
The movie breezes through 100 minutes like it was half of that and leaves you with an ending that will initially leave many people scratching their heads. "What was the point of that?" And perhaps that's the ultimate point. The characters are all greedy, nihilistic, violent and essentially unlikable, with the exception of little blind orphen, Carla, who Miike shoots like she was a broken doll and the fiery (and I mean that literally) Chinese beauty Kei who spends most of the movie following Mario from violent confrontation to violent confrontation. We're not really supposed to like these people. They all live up to the movie's title. Empty save for their violence and penchant for posing in the coolest possible manner. We watch the film like we watch a car wreck. The violence is so slick and stylish that it's impossible to take seriously.
Perhaps that's Miike's greatest accomplishment with this picture: he takes a hyper violent mess and makes it not only watchable, but fascinating in it's effortless brutality and leaves you with something to talk about with your friends once the credits roll.
Definately not for the faint of heart. This movie makes "Robocop" look like "Steel Magnolias."
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