First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019)
Critic Consensus: First Love's blend of violence, comedy, and romance might seem disparate -- but for director Takashi Miike, it's just another wildly entertaining entry in a filmography full of them.
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Critic Reviews for First Love (Hatsukoi)
"First Love" resonates because the director and screenwriter Masa Nakamura have more on their minds than just carnage. They bring the story back to its human core, and find the beating heart at the center of all the bloodshed.
"First Love" might not ultimately mean much, but its wily mix of colorful elements - romance, organized crime, slapstick and ultra-violence - makes for a bracingly weird cinematic experience.
Often darkly funny, "First Love" is also very violent, and it's not just about gunplay. There's a beheading in the movie's first few minutes just to let everyone know, if they've somehow forgotten, that they've walked into a Takashi Miike film.
What keeps it from becoming a bloody farce is Miike's profound sympathy for his leads, innocents trying to find their way out of the maelstrom.
Your Miike mileage may vary - but rest assured, there's no barf bag required.
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