Film, Drama

Time Out says

Kitano adapts to the demands of 'international' film-making in very characteristic ways: by adopting the uncomplicated directness of Hollywood movies (no trace of the 'philosophical' dimensions of Sonatine or Hana-Bi here) and by remaining absolutely true to himself. He plays Tokyo yakuza Yamamoto, forcibly retired from his gang after a hostile takeover; fitted with a fake identity, he moves to Los Angeles to join his younger brother, who (he seems unsurprised to discover) has dropped out of college and started dealing drugs with a black gang. He brings just two items of baggage: the urge to dominate and a death wish, both of which infect his new associates like a virus. They put paid to a local Latino gang and assimiliate the Little Tokyo yakuza, but then run into the brick wall of the Mafia. Characterisation is present and resonant - the development of the relationship between Yamamoto and the black con-artist (Epps) is even quite touching - but subordinated to ruthless analysis of quasi-military tactics and strategies in the gang subculture. A film of almost diagrammatic clarity, in which questions of loyalty, honour and, yes, brotherhood are mere pieces on the chessboard.


Release details

117 mins

Cast and crew

Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano
Susumu Terajima
Tetsuya Watari
'Beat' Takeshi
Ren Osugi
Claude Maki
Ryo Ishibashi
Owen Epps
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