It had to happen sooner or later: hyperkinetic Japanese director Takashi Miike, the man behind amphetamine-charged thrillfests like the Dead Or Alive trilogy, has finally burned himself out. In Agitator, Miike ditches his usual fast-paced style in favour of a meditative tale about two warring Yakuza families. Strangely, it works rather well. Clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, it's a sprawling Mob epic following foot soldier Kenzaki (Masaya Kato) during a gang war.

Full of shifting allegiances, shadowy backroom discussions and very little of the snappy editing Miike's best known for, Agitator proves that there's more to this cult filmmaker thannon-stop action. Not that he's lost his passion for shock cinema, mind. Who else would show a woman being anally raped with a karaoke microphone?

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