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Two members of a Japanese junior baseball team get mixed up with the local yakuza. After their coach is severely injured by the gangsters, the two boys set off to Okinawa to purchase a gun in order to get revenge. While in Okinawa they get befriended by a psychotic yakuza outcast who is planning a revenge of his own. Written by
Todd K. Bowman <email@example.com>
I have recently been going through Kitano's films, and upon seeing thing, I think it's probably the one I like the least. It's kind of a weak film. It has it's moments, but as a whole is too slow and bizarre for it's own good.
Just like most Kitano films, it has his signature style. The sudden violence, the comedy, all those things, but in this film it just doesn't work. I think a big gripe is that the story feels too loose. You kind of get lost as to why certain things are happening or how certain characters know each other. It actually begins to feel like two separate films about 50 minutes in. Personally, I found myself more engaged in the story that occurs 50 minutes in then the rest of it. One of the big issues seems to be that Kitano doesn't show up until that later point, and it just feels like not enough of Kitano's character. Also, the ending doesn't help clarify the film. In fact, it makes it more confusing. I won't give it away, but it can be interpreted in different ways. But I will say that if you interpret it one specific way, it kind of explains the general odd-ness of the film.
Kitano is known for including some strange things in his movies, but this one just kinda takes it over the top. While the movie can be quite funny, such as a scene involving an M16 hidden in a bouquet of flowers accidentally going off and causing a funny reaction, it just feels like it delves too deep into the comedy and it makes any drama feel odd. There's also some confusing things, like Kitano's character raping his male friend, and then him not really caring the next day. Or Kitano raping a random woman. Some very odd things to include without any reason. There is also a scene where it appears like we are supposed to see the same event twice, but it is all done in one take, which makes it quite confusing, but kind of impressive at the same time. Really strange to see. Although I will give the film credit for somehow making girlfriend abuse funny. (It sounds odd but when you see him hitting her, you can't help but laugh)
Overall I think this is a weak Kitano film. It doesn't give me enough drama or character development to keep my interest. I think that's it's biggest problem. It's slow but not for the right reasons, such as building characters and relationships before the big climax, but just feels slow so it can include silly and odd scenes. Only recommended for Kitano fans.
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