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City of Lost Souls (2002)

Teah , Michelle Reis , Takashi Miike  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Teah, Michelle Reis, Kôji Kikkawa, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Patricia Manterola
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Ichiro Ryu, Seishu Hase
  • Producers: Hiroshi Yamamoto, Kazunari Hashiguchi, Toshiki Kimura, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa, Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Chimera
  • DVD Release Date: December 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007149M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City of Lost Souls" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A stylized and violent thriller, prolific director Takashi Miike's City of Lost Souls (2000) is set in the ganglands of Tokyo and pays homage to Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, and, in a weird, animated cockfighting sequence, The Matrix. Mario (Teah) is the Japanese-Brazilian gunslinger fresh out of jail who, in a hilariously audacious action sequence, hijacks a helicopter to save his Chinese girlfriend Kei (Michelle Reis) from deportation. He must then secure 18 million yen to secure fake passports for both of them to make a new life for themselves in Australia. In a misconceived operation, Mario arrives at the lair of the intriguing Ko, Kei's ex-boyfriend--a self-assured, effeminate young exchange student--who is somehow head of a vicious gang of Triads. He's at the point of buying a consignment of cocaine from decadent, cold-blooded Yakuza gangster Fushimi when Mario's arrival triggers a shootout, with Mario escaping with the wrong suitcase. Now, in time-honored True Romance fashion, Mario and Kei are on the run from the mob.

Although visually tricky with some strong set pieces, The City of Lost Souls is rather hazy when it comes to story and characterization. We get little sense of the runaway couple as people. A young blind girl is introduced into the tale and there are romantic moments between Mario and Kei, but these feel like sugary palliatives to the bloodshed rather than touching moments. Better perhaps to check out Miike's Audition, a brilliantly gruesome satire on male Japanese attitudes toward womanhood. This is a flashier, faster, but less artistically satisfying affair. --David Stubbs

Product Description

A stylized and violent thriller, prolific director Takashi Miike's City of Lost Souls (2000) is set in the ganglands of Tokyo and pays homage to Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, and, in a weird, animated cockfighting sequence, The Matrix.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the cooler movies of recent years October 21, 2004
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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "People in this world, we have no place to go..." March 15, 2004
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.'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun film June 25, 2004
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice juicy crime flick. January 12, 2003
By Amanda
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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Disaster January 12, 2003
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 ˝ Stars: A Lunatic Japanese-Brazilian Guy and Gorgeous Chinese Woman...
Quentin Tarantino quotes Takashi Miike as "the best director of this generation". Like him or not, Miike can pull off almost anything from surreal black comedies, brutal violence,... Read more
Published on November 16, 2008 by Woopak
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Not Takashi Miike's best but still a solid movie. Good pacing, lots of action and some gore. Some animated sequences which can be bring the movie down a little. Read more
Published on July 21, 2005 by walstib11
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie The City of Lost Souls
Chinnese against Portuguese,mafia,guns women,street brawls this is a wild ride of wierd Mike films has buetiful art direction and good cameria angles and will please audeances on... Read more
Published on May 27, 2005 by joe larkin
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Love Story...
As my second favorite Takashi Miike film to date, it's quite a sweet love story amongst gratuitous violence and bizarre characters. Read more
Published on October 31, 2004 by Morado
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Miike's Best
Don't bother with this piece of trash. At least rent before you buy. I'm a great fan of Director Miike's work, but he makes so many films that some just turn out to be... Read more
Published on April 12, 2004 by gibbie
2.0 out of 5 stars When good directors make bad movies
I caught this movie on cable after seeing "Audition" (which I liked) in the theatre. That Miike is a gifted director, pipin- full of potential, there can be no doubt. Read more
Published on August 31, 2003 by Benjamin Lefebvre
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Miike Classic!
This film was made by Takashi Miike, one of Japan's newest avant-garde directors (also known for using enormous amounts of violence and gore in his films). Read more
Published on August 15, 2003 by James Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo's Melting Pot
Beautiful Kei, crazy Mario, fearless Fushimi. This is one of my all-time favorites. Forget that the movie has no intricate plot, that the characters do not engage in didactic... Read more
Published on August 5, 2003 by Robert C. Riggs
2.0 out of 5 stars City of Lost Souls
I just picked up this movie today and it took everything that I could muster not to pull it out of the DVD player. Read more
Published on March 26, 2003 by "jviper22"
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining
If you've seen Audition and are looking for another Takashi Miike film to watch, City of Lost Souls may surprise you, since it's completely different from that horrific... Read more
Published on March 11, 2003 by Garry Messick
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