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Woman gambler attempts to win back her adopted parent's restaurant from thugs
Late Hideo Gosha film is a well made but ultimately unimpressive entry in the gambler/ underworld genre. The gambling card game that is the focus of many Japanese films is still a mystery to me but here it's filmed with enough style that the long sequences are not hard to sit thru. The story is what counts.
Rin is a traveling gambler who goes by the name of "Luminesent Rin". She is apparently a well known and respected but not considered to be among the elite gamblers. Heading to a job for "Boss Masa", a powerful mob boss (?), she unexpectedly runs into her younger brother in the train station on the run from thugs. She rescues him and pays off his gambling debts. Finding out that her brother has lost the family restaurant due to gambling debts, she decides to return to her home town to do something about it. She was adopted by her brother's parents when her birth father, also a gambler, was murdered for cheating. With Boss Masa's approval she returns home. There she confronts the evil Otaki, a murderous gangster and his mistresses. She vows to win back the restaurant during the gambling contest but Otaki decides to kill her brother before she has a chance. Things don't work out the way Otaki plans so he hires Tseunejiro, the "Spellbinder", the best gambler in Japan to defeat her. And so the movie goes to a chaotic climax.
Very well made and decently acted by everyone involved but the lead actress, Kaneko Higuchi, while excellent at times is not intense enough in some scenes and is really not up to the action finale. Tatsuya Nakadai seems bored at times.
Not up to Gosha's better films but very watchable.
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