Why Don’t You Play In Hell
Ten years ago, the Kitagawa yakuza clan attacked the Muto yakuza clan at Muto’s own home, only to have Muto’s wife fight back. This unexpectedly left the Kitagawa clan in shambles, with their top hitman Ikegmai wounded and Muto’s wife in prison. Despite the carnage, the most unfortunate fallout from this attack is when Muto’s beloved daughter, Mitsuko, has her adorable toothpaste commercial taken off the air. Now, Ikegami seeks revenge, while Muto only has one desire: to have his wife return from prison to see Mitsuko star in her first movie. Enter The Fuck Bombers, an eager but untalented group of wannabe filmmakers whose dreams of making movies have come crashing down after ten years. Circumstances have brought them to this fateful moment where they’ll be able to film the climactic battle between yakuzas in an epic, over-the-top ending for the ages.
If you’ve seen Sono’s Fantastic Fest’s 2009 entry LOVE EXPOSURE, you know that no one can mix genres like he can, and WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL is equal parts yakuza action and star-crossed romantic comedy. Normally, Sono elevates his films with biting but spot-on social commentary, but here, he goes back to a script he wrote fifteen years ago to incorporate his love for cinema and especially 35mm film. The result is among Sono’s best work as his trademark excess and outrageousness is infused with an affection for the Japanese films that have come before it. This is Sono at his most endearing and it’s awesome. (James Shapiro)