Monday, December 05, 2011
The latest "blood and bullets" drama from writer/director Takeshi Kitano. Taking place in the contemporary world of the Japanese "Yakuza", fans of this genre will not be disappointed. Mr. Kitano's film is sleek and highly stylized, filled with great imagery. It tells the tale of warring families seeking favor with the "Chairman" and it's filled with double and triple crosses along with an escalating body count.
We've seen this kind of story before and the plot holds no surprises other than who will ultimately survive but Mr. Kitano's sense of poetry in his visuals help heighten this entertaining crime drama. The symmetry of the Yakuza vehicles juxtaposed with the henchmen in well tailor suits makes for a memorable opening alone.
Mr. Kitano also plays a starring role in the film as his alter ego, "Beat Kitano" as Otomo, an underling to the "Chairman". His character is of the same quiet but deadly killer he's played in many of his films. Honor among thieves is an important part of a Japanese crime film and even in betrayal, honor is always a priority, whether you are an underboss or a corrupt policeman. Otomo finds out that honorable or not, no one is untouched by the violence, which may well be Mr. kitano's point.