Shion Sono is not what you’d call an unadventurous director. Suicide Club, Noriko’s Dinner Table and Strange Circus built him a cult following with horror aficionados. He then stunned the world with Love Exposure, a film which is as mind-boggling as it is long. He’s one of the most innovative Japanese film makers and, coming off the back of a run which included Cold Fish, Himizu and Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, a new film is a mouthwatering prospect.
It’s been five years after the Shibuya riots and the Tribes of Tokyo have been enjoying a period of relative peace. That is until three members of the Musashino Saru intrude on the territory of the Wu-Ronz in Bukuro. All three, including Uncle Kim are killed by Mera (Ryôhei Suzuki), the leader of Wu-Ronz. After he mistakenly believes it’s an attach from Shibuya Saru. Whilst searching for his clan members, Kai runs into Mera, who is an old high school friend. The two end up fighting, which leads to the death of the Musashino Saru leader, Tera (Ryûta Satô). This leads to all out war between all the Tokyo Tribes.
Based on Santa Inoue’s manga of the same name, Tokyo Tribes is a very messy film. As the tribes rap to nonsensical and often offensive lyrics, Sono often concentrates on the worst sort of misogynistic film making. Inexplicable close-up of girls either naked or in their underwear, are joined by mindless violence, whilst a slim plot is often incomprehensible. He’s a great film maker, but Tokyo Tribes is a huge misjudgement and one which may lose him a lot of fans. However, no doubt it will have a lot of appeal to many, and there are some clever fight scenes, great visuals and enough bizarre crazyness to keep a young teenage boy happy.
Tokyo Tribe is out in cinemas from Friday.