DIGITAL REVIEW: First Love an incredible International picture

From the director who brought us unforgettable fare like Ichi The Killer and Audition comes this blood-spattered effort.

Takashi Miike’s film about an angry, terminally ill boxer and a sex trafficked escort who get caught in a major drug deal in Tokyo is an exhilarating ride.

When a low-ranking Yakuza member’s plan goes awry, the two innocent bystanders get caught in a high-level plot involving warring gangs fighting over turf.

Leo is played beautifully by Masataka Kubota, and the call girl forced to work to clear her fathers debt adds some much-needed depth to the story. Actress Sakurako Konishi is more than up to the task.

But it’s the romance, double-crossing, huge twists and bloody gore that really keep us into this one. It’s almost cartoonish in its grimy, noir setting, and I loved getting to know these characters.

It may not be Miike’s best, but it sure is memorable.

4/5 Stars

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