6.8/10
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Boiling Point (1990)

3-4 x jûgatsu (original title)
Two disquieted junior baseball players seek revenge on the local yakuza for attacking their coach.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Uehara (as 'Beat' Takeshi)
Yûrei Yanagi ...
Masaki (as Masahiko Ono)
Yuriko Ishida ...
Sayaka
Taka Guadalcanal ...
Takashi Iguchi (as Takahito Iguchi)
Duncan ...
Kazuo (as Minoru Iizuka)
Eri Fuse ...
Fumiyo
Makoto Ashikawa ...
Akira
Rasshâ Itamae ...
Takuya (as Hiroshi Suzuki)
Tsumami Edamame ...
Saburou (as Takahiko Aoki)
Bannai Matsuo ...
Naoya (as Kenzo Matsuo)
Rakkyo Ide ...
Hajime (as Hiroshi Ide)
Meijin Serizawa ...
Makoto
Kengakusha Akiyama ...
Gas Pump Attendant
Naoko Shinohara ...
Sumiyo
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Okinawa-Rengou Kumichou
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Storyline

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 <tkbowman@aol.com>

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Release Date:

15 September 1990 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Boiling Point  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,471 (USA) (14 May 1999)
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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unpredictable
4 April 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

3-4x Jugatsu/Boiling Point(1990) focuses on the theme of rebellion. The second consecutive film by Takeshi Kitano with an outsider who goes against the system. Masaki is a reactionary character who is content to be a nobody. He is an outsider who tends to do things just for the heck of it. Masaki and Uehara have a lot in common because both fight and lose to the system.

Uehara is a charismatic anti hero who is in the film for a small period of time. I only wished that Uehara had more screen time in Boiling Point(1990). Uehara is the meanest and sadistic person in a Takeshi Kitano directed picture. "Beat" Takeshi plays Uehara with flamboyant sadism and unpredictable viciousness. "Beat" Takeshi in Boiling Point(1990) follows in the footsteps of fellow tough guys, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum, Charles Bronson, Klaus Kinski, Richard Widmark, Harvey Keitel, Telly Savalas, and Lawrence Tierney.

The act of sodomy by Uehara on his best friend is a shocking scene that attacks the nerves of the viewer. The images from this scene are off beat and unsettling. Uehara seems in this scene to prefer being in the company of of his best friend than his girlfriend. Its scenes like this that gives the film a brutal and dark comic edge. You will never see a scene like this in a Hollywood picture nor for that matter in an American Independant Film because very few are bold and daring filmmakers.

3-4x Jugatsu/Boiling Point(1990) is the first true Takeshi Kitano film that has his trademarks of off beat images, moments of dullness, and sudden violence more completely than in his debut, Violent Cop(1989). Also the first film that Takeshi Kitano wrote and directed on his own. Its here that Takeshi Kitano came into his own as an auteur and movie maker. Takeshi Kitano has a passion for the sport of baseball which is why the main character is a member of his local town's baseball team. Takeshi Kitano films a flash forward sequence that reminds me of Point Blank(1967), the early films of Alain Resair and Nicolas Roeg, plus The Limey(1999).

The acting portion of the film is not a strong point for the director here. Average in fact compared to the other departments of the motion picture. "Beat" Takeshi takes the cake with his amazing performance as the unpredictable, Uehara. Masahiko ono does alright as the average and lazy Masaki. The acting from the rest of the cast varies from person to person.

A favorite motif of Takeshi Kitano is the scene of people hanging out and playing at the beach. In his best films, there is a scene where the main characters go to the beach to relax and take it easy. These scenes show the good nature of the characters of Uehara and his best friend when they are not doing bad things. The beach motif in Boiling Point(1990) is for the main characters a place to find peace and tranquility with its calm waves, soft sands, and cool blue skies. These scenes make the characters very likeable.

A lot of the visual use and motifs from this film is used again in both Sonatine(1993), and Kids Return(1996). The scene where Uehara kills his boss with a machine gun is used in the climax of Sonatine(1993). The idea of the person who messes up in life plays an important role in Kids Return(1996). Suicide is a theme that plays a major role in both Boiling Point and Sonatine. If Violent Cop(1989) is the older brother of Fireworks(1997) than Boiling Point(1990) is the older brother of the masterpiece, Sonatine(1993).

The violence in the film provides an interesting counterpoint to the dullness of life. Violence at times in here happens without reason or warning. Violence in the universe of "Beat" Takeshi is not pleasant nor romanticized but vicious and ugly. Violence in Boiling Point begins and ends quickly without any regards for the aftermath. The violent behavior from the characters of the film is something that is in all of us human beings whether we like it or not.

The director is a genius at mixing images of humor with images of brutality. The visuals here are much more bizarre than in Violent Cop(1989). Takeshi Kitano is excellent at using images and natural sounds to tell a story. Boiling Point(1990) uses images with the same flair and style of the Silent film era. There are images of beauty and images of ugliness that makes the film fascinating to view.

3-4x Jugatsu/Boiling Point(1990) is the second chapter in the lifelong "Beat" Takeshi series. The editing is done at a rapid fire pace. The scene where Uehara bashes a bottle of beer over and over again is done with humor. Other humorous scenes are the sequence where Uehara asks his best friend to cut his finger for sleeping with his girlfriend even though he told him to do it and the scene where Masaki and his best friend have trouble firing a gun because the safety is off. Takeshi ends the film with his usual bleak finale.


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