Where’s Quentin? Tarantino has obviously emigrated to Japan and gone out of his head. Or else Takashi Miike has seen Pulp Fiction too many times, and thought it was too sober a drama. Miike’s 1999 film Dead or Alive is pretty much plotless mayhem in the neo-noir streets of Tokyo as black-trenchcoated Chinese crime lords battle Yakuza thugs as well as hapless on-the-edge cops. Detective Jojima (Show Aikawa) has a daughter who needs a serious operation; Chinese don Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi) has a little brother who can’t deal with Ryu’s criminal lifestyle — bits of seriousness like this don’t mix well with noodles exploding from the belly of a gluttonous crimelord shot in the back and other bits of frequently sadistic and pornographic action humor. The over-the-top finale is hilarious, but it was only then that I realized the film was supposed to be an out-and-out comedy. Maybe it’s a Japanese thing, but I don’t really get it.