Dead Or Alive 3: Final (2002)
The third part of Miike's Dead or Alive trilogy is as unrelated to the first two parts as they were to each other, more or less. Sho Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi are back again for the lead roles, but this time the movie thrusts us forward 300 years or so into the future... post apocalypse.
Riki plays a tough cop, an enforcer for the corrupt city's extreme police policies, and Sho plays a drifter who hooks up with a bunch of the city's oppressed rebels. The film must have been shot in Hong Kong, as most of the rest of the cast are Cantonese speakers, with Terence Yin and Josie Ho being the most recognisable faces. There's also a HK stunt crew on hand for the films action sequences, which are very cool in a HK-via-Miike style.
This could be fodder for a dreadful low budget B-movie, but in Miike's hands it of course becomes something more interesting. It's quite a slow, thoughtful film that meanders along and doesn't try to force anything down the viewer's throat. Characters are rounded and interesting and the plot an interesting but fairly loose framework for the story to be hung on.
All in all a fairly low key effort until the action scenes, which show Miike's increasing prowess at directing and choreographing very nice action. Watching the short making of with Sho & Riki in wire rigs is really fun - you can tell they were having a great time
The finale of the film tries to tie together the 3 Dead Or Alive movies, which is quite unnecessary because each one is really self contained. Miike's explanation of the connection is very funny though, and caps the series off quite nicely.
Not as deep or well developed as DOA2, not as outrageous and intense as DOA1... still another good Miike movie though.