Fudoh II: Nohma Strikes Back!
- Original title
- Gokudo Sengokushi Fudo 2
- Japanese title
- 極道戦国志 不動２
- Running time
- 76 minutes
- 26 September 2001
by Tom Mes
No, he doesn't! Aside from two brief cameo scenes, Nohma is nowhere to be found in this cheap, quicky cash-in on Takashi Miike original gross-out manga spectacular. In fact, even though they feature prominently on the video box, both Riki Takeuchi's Nohma and Shosuke Tanihara's Riki Fudoh play second fiddle in a story about Shinjuku schoolgirls on a rampage. No prizes for guessing that the end result leaves a fair amount to be desired.
The story of Fudoh II concerns a group of delinquent high school girls who decide they will take over organized crime in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. Their method is simple: murdering as many mobsters as possible. The girls rob and kill two black arms dealers and run off with a huge arsenal of handguns, shot guns, and automatic weapons, then proceed to literally parade around town with them. All this culminates in the film's only scene to come anywhere near the level of part 1's outrageousness, albeit unintentionally: the girls run across a beach, clad in bikinis and with shotguns blazing, in pursuit of a group of impeccably suited, but shit-scared yakuza. That's about as good as it gets here. It's also the only good thing you're going to get if curiosity compels you to watch Fudoh II.
So how does Riki Fudoh himself fit into all this? Well, apparently he has been transferred to a high school in Shinjuku, or perhaps he transferred himself there, and in the few scenes he is in he generally stands around looking moody before getting himself beaten up by the girly gang. The awkward way in which his character has been wedged into a completely new storyline as a supporting character would suggest that director Yoshiho Fukuoka originally set out to make an entirely different film and was then ordered to turn it into a Fudoh sequel.
With the story and characters already suffering from chronic underdevelopment, needless to say direction is not quite up to the standard of part 1 either. Fukuoka's handling of the subject is the polar opposite of Miike's direction on the original. Like some wannabe documentarist, he lets his actresses run around Shinjuku streets and rooftops with a shaky handheld camera in tow, shooting wild for maximum amateur effect; dialogue is for the most part inaudible, since the street noise is deafening and there wasn't enough money to hire a decent sound technician.
Fudoh II is bottom-of the-barrel, quick buck filmmaking. Japan's straight-to-video market did chur out a good number of interesting films by original filmmaking talents, but this epitomises the worst of its output. Even in the unlikely case that you should get hold of a copy, it's best to avoid. Oh, and did I mention Fukuoka also directed Fudoh III?