TIFF 2013 Review: Sono's WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL Brings The Madness To Midnight
The multi stranded story resists synopsis - and does so quite convincingly - but the major plot threads go like this: There is a pair of rival yakuza gangs engaged in a feud spanning decades, a feud driven in part by one of the gang leaders' obsession with the others' daughter. The daughter? Well, dad's trying to set her up as an actress to make good on a promise made to his wife, but she's not being particularly helpful. And then there's the gang of renegade film enthusiasts who call themselves the Fuck Bombers ...
Trying to make logical sense of Why Don't You Play In Hell is like trying to untie a Gordian Knot. It's simply not going to happen. There's just too much crazy. But it at least mostly makes sense while it's playing out and the entire cast - including familiar faces such as Sakaguchi Tak, Kunimura Jun and Tsutsumi Shinichi - are having so much fun throughout that the bits that don't quite click in are easy to forgive.
A genre masher that incorporates yakuza film, martial arts, liberal doses of blood, slapstick comedy and some earnest opining on the power and value of cinema delivered in a very goofy package, Sono packs enough ideas in here to fill a handful of films and yet somehow keeps it all working together in a surprisingly unified whole. It's brash, funny, sexy, unrepentently stylish, endlessly surprising and - most important of all - simply great fun.