The yakuza in Hokuriku have their own way of doing things...
This movie can basically be summed up as "small town gangsters vs. big city gangsters." If you've seen any of Kinji Fukasaku's other yakuza pictures, like the Battles Without Honor & Humanity series (a.k.a. The Yakuza Papers) or Yakuza Graveyard, you'll know what to expect in terms of pacing, camera-work, and storytelling style. Every character in this movie is either a snarling alpha male or a sniveling coward. The action scenes are frenetic to the point of being confusing. And the movie practically revels in its own amorality. What sets Hokuriku Proxy War apart from other Fukasaku gangster pictures, however, is its setting. Most of the movie takes place in an extremely cold climate, which Fukasaku takes full advantage of. It never seems to stop snowing in this movie, and all the interiors are warmly lit, while suggesting wintry weather kept at bay. Also, if you're a fan of '70s earth tones, fur collars, brown suits, and tinted eyeglasses, then brother ... this is the movie for you. You might not remember the plot two days after you finish watching it, but you probably will remember the violent set pieces and the cool styles. Definitely recommended for yakuza movie fans. (Also, after I watched this movie, I watched a preview for it, and the preview contained tons of scenes that weren't in the film itself. If anyone has more information about this ... message me. Thanks!)
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