American private-eye Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to rescue a friend's kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Yakuza.American private-eye Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to rescue a friend's kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Yakuza.American private-eye Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to rescue a friend's kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Yakuza.
La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia, all those phrases we use for Italian organized crime certainly had their rituals and traditions. But as we learn in watching this film they have nothing on the Yakuza.
Robert Mitchum plays a private detective who works both sides of the law back in the states and he's hired by crime boss Brian Keith to rescue his daughter who was kidnapped by one of the Yakuza crime families in lieu of a shipment of weapons Keith was supposed to deliver. Coming along with him is young Richard Jordan whose father was a friend of both Mitchum and Keith as backup.
The mission is accomplished, but Mitchum and Jordan find the situation is a whole lot more complex than they were led to believe. In addition Mitchum gets involved with an old girl friend from the days when he was a military policeman during the postwar American occupation. She's the key to getting help from a former Yakuza member in their quest.
The American actors perform well here and oriental players James Shigeta and Japanese film star Takakura Ken are well cast as feuding Yakuza brothers. You will not question why Takakura Ken is known as the Japanese Clint Eastwood after seeing The Yakuza.
Director Sydney Pollack shows a real reverence and respect for the traditions of another culture. The Yakuza is both entertaining and informative and should not be missed.
- Nov 10, 2006