The Date crime family is unwillingly drawn into a mob war with the much more powerfulTendo group. This war disrupts the happy existence of one small sub-family, consisting of Muto,the boss more interested in his model planes than in crime, and his two loyal soldiers Seiji andYoshifumi. Muto promises to kill a high-ranking Tendo member to prove his worth, but Seijiknows he isn’t up to it. He arranges for Muto to be packed safely off to jail instead, and thenstages an attack …n the head of the other crime family. The result is an even bigger war, and Seijiis trapped in a endless spiral of death and violence.
Far less extreme than the likes of Audition and Ichi the Killer, this effort findsdirector Takashi Miike working in a more realist and melancholy vein. There is plenty ofviolence, shot with great verve and imagination (there are some wonderful uses of silence andhand-held video), but the overall tone is one of fatalism and inevitable doom. An excellentgangster picture.
There are a couple of odd instances of placement here, but otherwise, the 2.0 soundtrack isefficient and creates a pretty strong sense of environment. The gunshots, in particular, are huge,thunderous booms that will have the walls shaking.
The transfer is a gritty one, but that is the look of the film, rather than a flaw. What isunfortunate is the degree of grain and pixelation, and the image isn’t as sharp as it might be. Thecolours are decent, but are sometimes a bit murky too. One gets by, in other words, but one isn’tblown away.
The extras consist of a text essay by Tom Mes that, typos aside, is invaluable in placing thefilm in the context of Miike’s career. There are also bios, the trailer, and a still gallery. Themenu’s main screen is scored.
Tough, gritty stuff from one of Japan’s most versatile and striking directors.
Special Features List
- Still Gallery