Tokyo Tribe

Tokyo Tribe

Tokyo Tribe's overriding thesis about the futility of masculine aggression rings true, but that doesn't stop it from indulging greedily in the softcore display of women's bodies; pick your poison, whether it's leering close-ups of heaving breasts, legions of barely-clad eye candy, or a heroine for whom every kick is a panty shot. Sion Sono wants to have his cake — a dark, dick-driven dystopia, a hellish world of pure masculine power fantasy — and eat it, too.

I find it really hard to reconcile that reality, which I find repulsive, against how much I love the goddamn ballistic circus of carnage and grimy battle-rapping that's exploding from every frame of this film. From a stunning rain- and neon-soaked opening tracking shot to a breath-stopper of a final showdown, Sono's mouth is writing massive checks that his miraculous ass is somehow managing to cash. This film is really gross about women, but it's also fucking bonkers in every other regard. And sure, it's adapted from a manga that I hear is plenty sexist in its own right, but my personal opinion is that Sono missed an opportunity to skewer the conventions of a misogynist world, rather than doling out a few token winks at the audience before returning to the peepshow.

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