Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Head Crushing 101

What happens when a prisoner named Riki aka Ricky is left to rot in a prison? Why as explored in the aptly named Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, he proceeds to use his macho extreme kung fu skills to deadly effect. Story here is irrelevant, although from the loose plot and flashbacks its clear that Ricky became a master of the deadly arts because of his uncle, using them to seek revenge and taking five bullets in the process. This is not a movie so much as it is a video game brought to life on the silver screen, a display of Ricky's ability to take immense and outlandish pain while slaughtering his enemies on the bloody field of combat. The film's creators have no pretensions about the type of movie they are making, and hey we even get a scene where Ricky cries out in the rain-a Shawshank Redemption moment before The Shawshank Redemption was ever adapted on film.

You know what you are getting into when you see a man's head crushed, exploding into thousands of pieces upon impact. Ricky faces minor henchmen, dispatching them while dying numerous times and then getting new "lives" to their surprise. He even levels up a couple of times, thus feeding into the movie's distortion of reality, a staple of most action and martial arts films. The film naturally throws in a boss battle even, because what's a video game without the hero having to combat a massively grotesque enemy who's the last thing standing in their way? Plus there's even a bit of the overworked prisoners rising up to defeat their corrupt capitalistic masters, although that naturally gets cast aside mostly in favor of badass fight scenes and body parts getting crushed. You haven't truly experienced cinema until you have witnessed a hero proudly displaying the head of his vanquished foe, apparently. 91

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