In order to settle a business dispute, a mob leader murders one of his own teenage sons. The surviving son vows to avenge his brother's death, and organizes his own gang of teenage killers to destroy his father's organization.
Japan, 250 years ago. Soetsu is a moneylender who is killed by the cruel samurai Shinzaemon. His body is dumped in the Kasenega-Fuchi river. According to legend, all who drown in the river ... See full summary »
After Kunisada's Yakuza leader and father figure is brutally murdered, he and his best friend go on a two-man mission to avenge his death, killing other Yakuza leaders leading to a final confrontation by the old man's killers. Written by
Takashi Miike cut this movie to the strains of the 1971 progressive rock album "Satori" by the Flower Traveling Band, which he learned of through costars Joe Yamanaka and Yûya Uchida, who were also the band's founding members. Miike found the album to be way ahead of its time and was delighted at how well and inconspicuously it cut into a movie made 30 years later. See more »
Miike makes another yakuza picture. It's not especially groundbreaking, and it's certainly not one of Miike's deeper films, but it is extremely entertaining. That's mostly because of the main character, Kunisada (Miike regular Riki Takeuchi), who is the most psychopathic character in Japanese movies since Tatsuya Nakadai's evil samurai in Sword of Doom. Kunisada's mob boss, his surrogate father, is ambushed and murdered (though not before nearly strangling his assailant to death; the hit-man only lives because he cuts the dead man's hands off as they clench around his windpipe). Simultaneously, Kunisada, almost as if through a psychic bond, breaks out of jail and starts to go against the rival gang. The only problem is that the boss's death isn't necessarily a bad thing from his own gang's perspective. They and their rival gang try desperately to make a truce. Unfortunately for everyone, except for a small handful of loyal comrades, Kunisada won't stop until everyone around him is dead. The film suffers from Miike's major flaw as a filmmaker: a lack of coherency. There seem to be dozens of named characters, and it becomes very difficult to sort out who everyone is. I had to watch key scenes a second time to piece it all together (though I had most of it straight by the end of the film). But, even if you never quite figure it out, Miike's patented break-neck action sequences are so outrageously done that the film is more than worth watching. Watch out when Kunisada finds a rocket launcher!
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