Just after the talented yet sombre boxer Leo is told he has a brain tumour, he encounters the trapped, troubled call girl Monica. With nothing left to lose, the two become embroiled in a failed drug deal between the Yakuza and a Chinese triad. A corrupt cop, guileless gangsters, bloodthirsty femme fatales and a one-armed contract killer also get involved.
Never before has Miike Takashi referred so much to his prior work as in First Love. This blood spattered, nostalgic love letter to the 1990s is most reminiscent of Miike’s Black Society trilogy, but with a contemporary twist. Take the usual absurd ingredients – rolling heads, black humour and always-screaming Yakuza – add a dash of romance and you are ready for this explosive, colourful ride. The 103rd (!) feature film by this Japanese genre master.