Yakuza: Like A Dragon (in Japanese, “Ryū ga Gotoku: Gekijōban” translating to “Like a Dragon: The Movie”) is a 2007 action-crime film directed by Takashi Miike. It is a live-action adaptation based on the Yakuza video game series published by Sega, first released on the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2005.
The movie is set in Kamurocho, a fictional version of Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was filmed in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district, the famous entertainment area of Shinjuku. The story follows a former yakuza named Kazuma Kiryu and his adopted daughter Haruka as the pair search for her mother.
Following a bank robbery carried out by amateur gunmen, which results in the disappearance of ten billion yen belonging to the Tojo Clan, a mysterious Korean hitman named Park is tasked with tracking down and eliminating those responsible for the heist.
Along their journey, Kiryu and his daughter encounter several characters, including a convenience store employee named Satoru and his new girlfriend, Yui. Kiryu’s rival, “The Mad Dog of Shimano,” Goro Majima is also pursuing them, which makes for a number of entertaining moments.
How was the Film Yakuza Like a Dragon Received Critically?
The movie received average ratings from viewers and critics. It currently sits at a 6.1 on IMDB with over 1700 ratings and a 48% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes with more than 250 ratings.
Based on the huge success of the video game franchise the live-action movie Yakuza was able to garner more attention but ultimately left some disappointed. However, many fans of the video game series will likely appreciate the movie for its references to the video game universe.
About the Director – Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike is a widely recognised Japanese film director, screenwriter and actor who is known for his diverse film genres and distinctive directing style. His movies often contain high levels of violence and dark humour.
Miike was born on August 24th, 1960 in Yao, Osaka, Japan and started his career in the early 90s. With more than 100 films to his credit, including feature movies, television dramas & V-Cinema productions, Miike is known to be one of the most influential (and controversial) filmmakers in Japan.
He has won numerous awards for his work and has been recognized internationally. Various movies by Takashi Miike (including Audition, Ichi the Killer & 13 Assassins) have been worldwide box office hits. 13 Assassins for example, grossed over $17.5 million at the worldwide box office.
Other Yakuza Movies by Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike has directed over 100 movies in his time, and many of these films have been themed around the Yakuza. Here are just a few more examples of Takashi Miike’s Yakuza movies.
- Ichi the Killer
- Fudoh: The New Generation
- Shinjuku Triad Society
- Graveyard of Honor