Plenty of Westerns have borrowed heavily from Japanese films -- The Magnificent Seven was a remake of The Seven Samurai, while Yojimbo was turned into A Fist Full of Dollars -- so it seems appropriate that Sukiyaki Western Django is a Western with an almost all-Japanese cast, despite being set in Nevada. Too bad it's so self-indulgent and insanely over the top.

A mysterious, cool, unnamed Gunman (Hideaki Ito) comes to a small town where two clans -- one dressed in red, one in white -- have been feuding for centuries and are now in search of a hidden treasure. The Gunman offers to find the treasure for whatever clan makes him the best offer, and before you know it just about everyone is shooting everyone else.

Director Takashi Miike has done wonderful films, such as The Audition and Ichi the Killer, but Sukiyaki Western Django is a misfire. While there's some ridiculously cool action (including shooters capable of blasting crossbow bolts out of the air), the acting is also over the top (such as the corrupt Sheriff who suddenly pulls a Gollum-like dual personality) and everything is fully ridiculous. Quentin Tarantino produced this movie (as well as appearing in it), and some of his stylictic excesses show through (an animated sequence, ultra-cool characters). I really wanted to like this film, but Sukiyaki Western Django proves that sometimes too much is just too much.

Overall grade: D
Reviewed by James Lynch

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