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Young Thugs: Innocent Blood (1997)
"Kishiwada shônen gurentai: Chikemuri junjô-hen" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 317 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 18 critic

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Title: Young Thugs: Innocent Blood (1997)

Young Thugs: Innocent Blood (1997) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Caesar ...
Bar owner
Seiji Chihara ...
Yûji
Noriko Eguchi
Moeko Ezawa
Daisuke Iijima
Chihara Junia ...
Riichi (as Kôji Chihara)
Marie Kikuchi ...
Hiroko
...
Sada (as Yasushi Kitamura)
...
Man in red trousers getting beaten up by Riichi
Riichi Nakaba ...
Isami
Hiroko Nakajima ...
Masae
Sarina Suzuki ...
Ryôko
Kyôsuke Yabe ...
Kotetsu
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21 June 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Young Thugs: Innocent Blood  »

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User Reviews

 
An entertaining film occasionally marred by anti-climatic pacing
12 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty entertaining Miike film which suffers mainly from an anti-climatic and slow storyline. It is still quite entertaining and contains several distinct Miike touches, but the compelling nature of the characters and their locale is somewhat hurt by the strange pacing and repetitive activity. The storyline centers around Riike and his relationship with his high-school sweetheart, Ryoko, soon after the two leave high-school. Riike is now a petty street-mobster who makes a living protecting street vendors and low-level gamblers while Ryoko works in a hair salon. The film investigates how the violent side of Riike's personality is necessary for him to maintain close relationships with his friends and girlfriend.

The movie takes place in a neighborhood of Osaka, Miike's hometown, and is shot mostly with local actors. It's interesting that most of the guys in this film are notably un-handsome, while the girls are typically attractive. The film actually comedically riffs on this a couple of times.

And the comedy here is pretty good. The movie is a weird mix of slapstick and goofy comedy, non-lethal violence and occasional tragedy -- typically eccentric Miike. No single element is too affecting and perhaps that is why the movie falls a little short. I do admire Miike's versatility and ability to play each angle against each other -- at times it is even reminiscent of Takeshi Kitano's direction. This is not a total surprise considering Kitano has appeared in at least a couple of Miike films.

The acting here is competent, but not exactly powerhouse stuff, but then again I wouldn't expect that from the material. It's an entertaining look at the lives of several mischievous teens after they've left high school and the story contains some auto-biographical elements of both the director and writer (Osaka natives). It's entertaining but the pacing holds it back occasionally. Still Miike proves himself pretty versatile and the charming jokes and random Dada-esquire vignettes won me over (the search for 67 degrees, for instance). I'll certainly be interested in checking out the other films in the same series.


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