Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.
Another brilliant movie from Beat Takeshi. Slow, poetic, beautiful, minimalistic, thoughtful, and yes, occasionally extremely violent.
Beat Takeshi movies are without doubt an acquired taste. Newcomers to them, presumably expecting some kind of flashy, gun happy, John Woo-style "action" movie, are often shocked because they are the complete opposite to most Hong Kong cops'n'robbers movies. Slow, atmospheric and character driven, they really make you WORK. Things are not handed to you on a plate all neatly packaged, and generally it's what is NOT said and shown which counts. And yes, they are violent, but only intermittently. Takeshi lulls you into a false sense of security with his stunning visuals and thoughtful character studies and then WHAM, when you least expect it, we get violence, REAL violence. With consequences. The best Takeshi movie I have seen is 'Hana-bi' but 'Sonatine' comes a very close second. Takeshi stars as the kind of character he often plays, an ageing, dissatisfied man. Sometimes he's a cop, this time he's a yakuza. But he basically plays variations on the same "type". And let's face it, he does it very, very well. Takeshi also wrote, directed and edited this wonderful movie. A very impressive feat! If you aren't familiar with his style, this might be a good place to start. Leave your expectations at the door, and I'm sure you will be impressed. The supporting cast, many of whom are Takeshi regulars, are uniformly excellent (and may I say that Aya Kokumai is a real hottie?), but it's Takeshi himself who really impresses as an actor as well as a film maker. Highly recommended, as is 'Hana-bi'. Two of the very best movies released in the last ten years. If Hollywood was this good!
- Feb 25, 2003
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