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MOVIE REVIEWS IN BRIEF

Murk and mayhem in 'Lost Souls'

October 25, 2002|Kevin Thomas

Despite a meandering, hard-to-follow plot, Takashi Miike's "The City of Lost Souls" at least is more fun than his bizarre satire "The Happiness of the Katakuris."

A lurid, violent thriller, "City" opens promisingly. Mario (Teah), a half-Japanese, half-Brazilian Tokyo underworld warrior who favors long black leather coats and shotguns, pulls off a rescue by helicopter of his about-to-be-deported Chinese girlfriend, Kei (Michele Reis). Unfortunately, the plot abruptly veers in several directions, and the murk never fully clears up until the final moments. There's enough atmosphere, mayhem and just plain energy to make the film a viable midnight movie, a more appropriate slot than a regular run. Teah has an exotic, volatile presence that lends the film a sharp edge.

"The City of Lost Souls": Unrated. Standard yakuza violence, sex, drugs and language. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. Exclusively at the Fairfax Cinemas. In Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Russian, with English subtitles.

*

--Kevin Thomas

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