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Kizuna (1998)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  6 June 1998 (Japan)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 42 users  
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Tetsuro Haga is a troubled gangster, living under the assumed identity Ise for ten years, to escape jail for gunning down his cruel adoptive father. His life begins to unravel when a ... See full summary »


(as Kichitarô Negishi)


(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Takaaki Ise / Tetsuro Haga
Detective Sako Akio
Yumi Asô ...
Kyôko Fuda
Yôsuke Saitô ...
Masashi Fuda
Hôka Kinoshita ...
Shinji Miyake
Kumiko Tsuchiya ...
Chikako Fujishirô
Ikko Kawai ...
Kaoru Mabuchi (as Ikuko Kawai)
Mansaku Ikeuchi ...
Detective Okubo
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Hiroshi Okahori
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Deputy Superintendent Kohashi
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Mr. Soga
Haruko Katô ...
Mrs. Soga
Bengaru ...
Midori Hagio ...
Fumie Haga
Ken Tanaka ...


Tetsuro Haga is a troubled gangster, living under the assumed identity Ise for ten years, to escape jail for gunning down his cruel adoptive father. His life begins to unravel when a journalist following him takes an interest in the wife of a boyhood chum, and the wife of another close friend takes an interest in Ise. A couple of murders later, Ise/Haga goes on the run and also sets out for revenge. Written by sharptongue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

6 June 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Bonds  »

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User Reviews

Frustrating to begin with
15 September 2013 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The first half of Kizuna is rather confusing and dull. Most puzzling of all, the first hour is not very well acted either. Koji Yakusho has been Japan's top actor for the past 20 years, and was already at the top of his game around this time, especially having starred in the international smash hit Shall We Dance two years earlier. The great Koji appears bored with the role, and the introduction of half a dozen other important characters, which should have enriched proceedings, becomes an exercise in head-shaking.

It perhaps doesn't help that Koji is playing a fairly unsympathetic character. The support actors seem to warm up faster than Koji, and are mostly fairly convincing by the half-way mark. Shortly after, Koji seems to switch on, fairly suddenly, and the movie dramatically improves as a result. The plot threads come together nicely, the pace quickens, the violence and gore increases (it was already pretty high !), nearly all the characters become more desperate as the pressure mounts.

If not quite gripping, the second half is highly watchable and the conclusion satisfying.

I can't honestly say what could be done to improve the first half of Kizuna, but I certainly would not have stuck with it, had there been a lesser actor in the lead. Therefore, if you are new to the great Koji, start with another of his many fine films, and catch up with Kizuna later.

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