Is this a comedy?
I couldn’t help but think that throughout most of the run time: one Yakuza is mad about some slight someone else performed and therefore kills or hurts someone, and then that newly slighted family retaliates, and this repeats oh, maybe 25 times throughout the film. At some point, it calls to mind that definition of insanity, that it’s doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. I wasn’t laughing, but I wondered maybe it’s meant as a really black comedy, or as satire.
Because as an action film I’m not sure it cuts the mustard. It’s almost like a horror movie instead: people are killed in creative ways – ways that seemingly make no sense other than “this would look cool” if you think about them from the perspective of the people doing the killing.
I read someone that a journalist felt like this was a reasonably accurate portrait of the Yakuza – though I assume the body count is, um, a little lower in real life, to put it mildly – but it’s hard to know what to think of a movie that is basically just a series of revenges without enough character development for us to give a shit about who comes out on top.
- Directed by Takeshi Kitano
- Produced by Masayuki Mori, Takio Yoshida
- Written by Takeshi Kitano
- Takeshi Kitano (Beat Takeshi) as Otomo
- Kippei Shiina as Mizuno
- Ryo Kase as Ishihara
- Tomokazu Miura as Kato
- Jun Kunimura as Ikemoto
- Tetta Sugimoto as Ozawa
- Takashi Tsukamoto as Iizuka
- Hideo Nakano as Kimura
- Renji Ishibashi as Murase
- Fumiyo Kohinata as Detective Kataoka
- Soichiro Kitamura as Sekiuchi
- Yuka Itaya as Otomo’s girlfriend
- Naoko Watanabe as Mizuno’s girlfriend
- Eihi Shiina as Call girl
- Sachiyo Tanahashi as Hostess
- Music by Keiichi Suzuki
- Cinematography by Katsumi Yanagishima
- Edited by Takeshi Kitano
- Production company: Office Kitano
- Distributed by Warner Bros., StudioCanal, Magnet Releasing
- Release date: 17 May 2010
- Running time: 109 minutes
- Country: Japan
- Language: Japanese, English
- Box office: ¥634 million