Takeshis' review

Written by, directed by, and starring Takeshi Kitano. Modest much?

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Self-reference plummets into self-indulgence in this 2005 film from Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Zatôichi).

The writer/ director takes two roles, one a big-shot star, Beat Takeshi, and the other a store cashier, Mr Kitano, who fruitlessly auditions for acting gigs.

Practising for a role, the latter one day brings home a bag of guns, which turn out to be real. Or are they?

Kitano layers fantasy and reality via a surreal, doppelganger-themed satire of his two-pronged career as populist entertainer and arthouse hero.

All well and good, but there’s nothing searching here: instead, the bullet-ballet violence adds up to diminishing returns and a sense of repetition sets in all-too fast.

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Freelance writer

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.