One thing i've learned about watching Miike's films is, as similar as they may be, it's a hard thing to compare them to one another especially lately as it seems the director is tackling genres and "Miikefying" them. Like his answer to North America's Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings with The Great Yokai War, his answer to super hero flicks with Zebraman, and his latest effort demolishing the western with Sukiyaki Western Django (which i'm praying to the dvd gods will come out sometime soon so i can have a copy at home). So i'm not really gonna compare this film with his others.
With Big Bang Love Miike is taking on the typical male prison drama complete with homosexuality, leader of the pack fight outs, and corrupt guards. This story is a murder mystery of sorts that didn’t really have me guessing, nor did I really care for the conclusion of who did what to whom. What had me going was the sheer poetry that this film is. That's all i can really say about it, that this film was a poem in moving pictures and words. As a poem it really isn't for everybody, cough Kendall, it can feel very pretentious to some and completely moving to others. I am in the latter category and was completely lost in this one. It's so all over the place that i don't know if i completely put it in the "it's so cool" section yet... but it's definitely more than just okay that's for damn sure.The biggest strength of the film is not the dialogue or the story, it’s the imagery. Everything were shown of outside the prison and surrounding area is normal. When we see flashbacks of the prisoners in Tokyo before their arrests everything is of our world. Once they enter prison everything looks like a dream and is completely absurd. It is obvious Miike is showing off his artistic muscles here, as if he threw all his best choices in style, camera angles, and imagery from the rest of his work and washed them, chopped them up, cooked em in a stew and served it to you. It’s not that all these things will work together, in fact alot of them taste better on their own but it is still edible. Some of the imagery is really tough to shake off though, like the shots of a giant pyramid that's on the outside of the prison walls to the left and a cartooney rocket ship outside the walls on the right seen whenever scenes are played in the prison yard, great imagery that plays well into the ideas the film is trying to get across. Really cool stuff.
Pick this one up if you're a fan of Miike, a sentimental existentialist, or just dig the weird ones.
-Kris “drop bones” Mcfly