Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Critic Reviews for Izo
... if you're a fan of Takashi Miike, and want to see where his filmic experiments have been leading him, then Izo is not to be missed.
Audience Reviews for Izo
A nihilistic/budhist approach to film conventions and genres. Izo is a destructive force that seeks peace by doing the only thing he was good at. Miike deconstructs movie mechanisms to the point of exposing how pointless they are. Action sequences go to the point of the excess, taking away anything "exciting" about them. Some of the most important actors in the history of japanese cinema appear barely 5 minutes, then get killed. You could say Izo is not only unleashing his rage to the world, but also over the movie industry. The more people dismiss this movie in Miike's body of work the more it becomes relevant and alive.
One of the weirdest films every produced and also one of the hardest to watch. There was a lot of greatness in this film. I really liked the school scene where Izo cuts down the mothers, but this film was just far too repetitive. It's basically a guy being defiant and killing everyone. It also has a lot of deep philosophical musings, but for me the gore and violence was just too strong to let the deeper themes through. Something tells me this was never meant to be enjoyed as normal films are which is both one of it's pluses and one of it's negatives. Certainly worth checking out, but you may need a few sittings to get through it.
Miike himself has described the movie as a mantra, a way of exploring the same basic idea through various facets of meaning. Most movies are merely concerned with a contrived plot, a way of hustling a bunch of characters along to a happy or sad ending. Izo is not about a plot, but it has a story, one which neither ever really began nor ended, so a linear plot would not serve its intentions. We see pieces of various parts of his life linking up and creating drama that fuel the films' forward momentum, much as Izo's anger sends him hurtling forward again and again towards...what? The further Izo goes, the more he becomes a monster of instinct, and the more nihilistic his fury becomes, not because he kills, but because he no longer has any element of choice
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