CANNES, France (AP) — Director Takashi Miike says shooting an action movie in Japan is a lot harder than it looks.

His Cannes Film Festival entry "Shield of Straw" is a robust thriller about a team of police tasked with escorting a child-killer with a bounty on his head across the country.

Although touched with serious themes of loyalty and duty, it's an old-fashioned action flick, bursting with car chases, gunfights and explosions to rival anything from Hollywood.

The director says he felt Japanese cinema had lost the art of making "spectacular scenes — so I gave myself a challenge."

He succeeded, but only after traveling to Taiwan to film. He said Monday that in Japan, "it was impossible to close down the highways and get so many police cars on the road."