Ambitious yakuza Kenji befriends harmonica-playing bartender Chuji, who moonlights as a part-time drug-dealer for the opposing gang. Their friendship is threatened by Kenji's plans for ... See full summary »
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.
This was a much more character-driven storyline than one might expect from Miike, and very nicely done, although it doesn't exactly score huge points for originality. We have the hooker with the heart of gold, and the usual tale of three disaffected youths trying to better their lot in life, only to fall into a life of crime that leads to disaster. But all of the characters are still sympathetic, and Miike's way of framing his story against the real sense of disconnection that his Chinese characters feel living in Japan is effective (even if American viewers might only pick it out after having a critic more savvy in Asian societal dynamics explain it first). This is also the most gorgeously shot Miike film I think I've seen, rich with deeply saturated and highly stylized colors. 8/10 from me.
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