Shield of Straw
Director Takashi Miike is wildly prolific, and he jumps genres constantly. He has made many outstanding films, and has proved he is not afraid to challenge convention, but working at such a pace, it is not surprising that his resume is also littered with duds. Shield of Straw is a typical effort that sports and innovative concept, but has been made too quickly (though with an ample budget) for him to really develop its potential. A team of cops is tasked with protecting a prime suspect of the murder of a young girl, whose father has put out a massive bounty for his death. This situation leads to plenty of violence and a high body count, and the police, led by an idealistic cop (Takao Osawa), wonder at the price of protecting someone who is probably guilty of a terrible crime. Shield of Strawis a good enough action thriller, but is a long way from being ranked among Miike’s best work.