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Honor, betrayal and mind-blowing action as only acclaimed cult director Takashi Miike can bring! Seiji and Yoshifumi are the only members of the Muto branch of the Date Family. The two respect and love their leader, Mr. Muto, like a father and the three share a firm bond. But their fate is sealed when the Family is involved in a conflict. Muto is unable to pay his share of funds for the oncoming battle but tells executives of the Family that he would fight at the front line instead. In the wish to protect Muto, Seiji has him arrested by the police. Ignoring the Family executives' mocks of "Muto escaped to prison", Seiji prepares for the battle and attacks like a demon on behalf of his boss
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Top customer reviews
As far as Yakuza Demon goes, it is a little tame for a Miike film but that's what makes it and him so great. One of my few complaints about him is all the rape/gay/weird sex stuff he throws into his movies (Dead or Alive Final, parts of Ichi-thought I loved that film, Shinjuku Triad Society, etc.) This film is very intense when it needs to be, beautifully shot and believable. I would just like to know which city in Japan it's filmed in because it's clearly not Tokyo. Anyway, big thumbs up. Definitely one of Miike's finest.
Muto is a humble man, yet, because of the honor of the clan, and due to the fact he has no money to contribute, he tells the other brothers of his clan that he will make a hit on a middle yakuza of the opposing clan known as the Tendo family, which made the hit on them. However, Seiji, who is also known as 'Sinji the Ripper' wants to do this for the boss--even though he has already been in jail for a long time for another transgression. However, the leader Muto tells him that he will do the hit, as it is not right for Seiji to go back to jail again. Yet something happens, which changes things for this poor yakuza clan. Seiji decides to protect his boss, and in doing so he makes a hit on a major leader of the Tendo clan. This spells doom for his own Date clan. For while the Date clan has several men, they do not have as large an outfit as the Tendo family. With his own brotherhood of yakuza leaving him high and dry, Seiji and his close yakuza brother Yoshifumi find themselves battling an organization of 15,000 men.
This is not a violent film, in regards to a yakuza narrative, and especially from Miike's usual standard of film making. All of the characters in the film give simple, yet nuanced performances in this film. And especially actor Riki Takeuchi--who has made a score of films with over-the-top performances. In this film he is more subdued, and the film moves at a slower pace. Yes, there are the occasional action scenes. But you will not find the bizarre character portrayals in the actors that one finds in most of Miike's films. This is a more quiet and reserved film. As the Tendo clan seeks out Seiji, who was responsible for the hit on a major yakuza player, he seeks help from no one but himself. With just a few friends to help him out, we see a departure from the typical yakuza film by Miike. Will the Tendo family finally track Seiji down? Or will Seiji heed the advice of friends and leave Japan? Moreover, will his brothers in the Date family finally help out? The is an above average to good yakuza film by Miike, and is recommended. Rent it first. [Stars: 3.5]
Briefly told: a foot soldier in a very minor, poor Yakuza family runs slightly amuck, protecting the family's boss who has gone crossways with the powers that be. The soldier (played by Yakuza and V-film legend Riki Takeuchi) is nicknamed "Sinji the ripper" and with good reason. Now, both sides are out to destroy this tiny triad. What no one can anticipate, though, is the loyalty and love that bind this tiny family together.
Takashi Miike is an astounding filmmaker. This film has a lonely, abandoned feeling about it - a sad tone - that Miike produces simply with shot composition, lighting, and editing. There is a particular sequence (when Yoshi, the youngest member of the family, goes to meet his girlfriend and must confront apposing gang members alone) that creates a near overwhelming feeling of pathetic doom.
Perhaps Miike is something very rare - a kind of freak, maybe. Like the child that can play a piano at two, or a kid from the cornfields that can swat homers while still in kindergarten; that is to say, a natural.
His work seems effortlessly original. -Mykal Banta