Come sempre Kitano riesce ad amalgamare le tendenze di gangsterismo dei suoi personaggi con la leggerezza degli eventi quotidiani, riuscendo a stemperare le tensioni con la sua passione per i paesaggi di mare e i momenti di gioco, sempre differenti e sempre immancabili. Il tempo per lasciarsi andare nei film di Takeshi c'è sempre e nemmeno lo spietato spirito degli Yakuza riesce ad opporsi a ciò.
Un film grandioso e imperdibile. Kitano violento e poetico come sempre, una storia perfetta dai ritmi mai esasperati eppure sempre sempre incredibilmente potente. Bellissimo il rapporto con una cultura totalmente diversa e fantastica l'ascesa criminale di Kitano che, col suo solito personaggio di marmo, reso umano e "perdente" da un'interpretazione spettacolare, tira fuori il solito film meraviglioso.
Repetitive and 2-dimensional Hollywoodized-version of Kitano that thankfully retains its cool style and flippant dark-humor. Kitano and Epps have a great sense of camaraderie due to their actions, expressions, and reactions, not the dialogue itself. It's pretty shallow and detached at times, yet is a quite fun n' cheeky movie.
An over promising yet dramatically under delivering movie. The movie filled with two dimensional characters with no decent backgrounds and motivations. The script tries to build suspense through air of secrecy yet this ends up nowhere. Not really recommended unless you are a real fan of the genre or the director.
takeshi's style seems really ill-suited to an american locale and its actors. this could've been a good film, but I felt like he spent too much time trying to understand the standard american crime film and ended up creating something that seems more than a little stilted and vacuous.
A supposed "thorn" in his vast library, I for one felt it brought his usual yakuza antics to the U.S. with a lot more success than people give it credit for. Though the ending may have felt a little stilted and untrue, the film as a whole is still rich with his pleasant, distilled scenes of characterization and his schizophrenic, hard-hitting act of violence. It's classic Kitano glossed over with a Hollywood sheen.
the transnational nature of this film makes it really bizarre. kitano's america, where police don't exist and nor do people outside of a narrative. it sort of feels like one of those flash clip generators where you input the dialogue. despite this resulting in a film that feels very dissasociated and artificial, however, it's all charming in a very hollow way. hisaishi's great score helps. a decent movie.
Even with characters that are sometimes caricatures and some cliche street gang stuff, the charm that Kitano somehow infuses into these brutal stories ultimately won me over. It felt very much like Kitano's Japanese version of Ferrara's King of New York, except I enjoyed this one. Not a great film by any means, but Kitano's cold, detached direction and performance will draw in anyone who stays open to the film.
Kitano's American crossover got a lot of negative to fair reviews when it came out but I feel that this is still one of his best films and definitely up there with Sonatine, Boiling Point and Violent Cop. Kitano and his usual band of cohorts Susumu Terajima, Ren Osugi, Ryo Ishibashi et al all put in good performances as usual and even the young Omar Epps does well here even with that ending.
It surprises me that Kitano was unhappy with this film -- It moves as fluidly and confidently as anything he's ever done. Even if it didn't, it's replete with the director's provocatively offbeat little moments, many of them worth the price of admission (the dice-in-cup bits, the basketball scene). "I know what 'fucking Jap' means, asshole!"
This is one of those films that even though it's somewhat raw when looking at some of cast performances it's still very captivating. I really felt compassion towards the heroes - especially towards Takeshi's character. Still I'm only giving it three stars, because somehow I felt that there were pacing issues with the plot. Some of the scenes felt unconnected. It's still definitely a movie worth seeing and revisiting.
I was not expecting much from this movie, having seen how negative the reaction to it was, but I was honestly very impressed by it. I'd say it stands right up alongside Kitano's Sonatine and Fireworks. I was fascinated by the story, the style, and the characters and their relationships. I love how Kitano stands out from every violent gangster movie director by exploring the code and drive behind these men. Underrated
The moral of this movie is confused to say the least, seemingly "anything is possible with the right strategy" one minute and "don't bite off more than you can chew or everything you love will be destroyed" the next. Lots of points for style and charm, plus the way the family builds itself up is really fun and interesting to watch.