Intelligent, experimental and brutal gangster anthology that has stood the test of time
Yakuza Law is an anthology that portrays three different stories abot organized crime in Japan. The three stories are presented in chronological order as they take place during the Edo period, followed by the Meiji period and finally present-day Japan when the movie was released. The title is quite ironic since the three tales portray that the common laws don't matter to organized crime syndicates and that they even break with their own conventions when conflicts are at hand.
This movie has aged quite well since the three tales portray their respective periods in authentic fashion. The cinematography is quite vibrant with dynamic cuts and zooms. The film's pace is frantic without lacking depth. The three different tales offer suprisingly profound conspiracies with a few intersting twists and turns. This movie is also quite violent as all tales end in sinister confrontations. This shouldn't come as a surprise as the opening credits already portray grisly torture sequences.
In the end, Yakuza Law finds a surprisingly timeless balance between brutal special effects, intelligent plots and dynamic cinematography. Veteran director Ishii Teruo offers one of his most concise films that features numerous skilled veterans such as prolific actor Sugawara Bunta and television star Miyauchi Hiroshi. If you like brutal gangster movie without wanting to sit through the extensive length of contemporary Western cinema, then you should certainly give this overlooked gem a try.
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