Friday, June 17, 2011
Kane Kosugi) saves the day by killing one of the punks with a knife (I'm suddenly having flashbacks to The Outsiders), and the others flee. Takuya can't let his friend take the rap for killing the punk that was raping his girlfriend, so he turns himself in to the police instead, and goes to jail, where he changes his name to Kizaki and apparently became a cold-blooded killer. His old buddy Masayuki, free and clear of the cops, marries Takuya's former girlfriend Yuki, and goes to medical school to become a doctor - which is fortunate for Takuya, since the next time they meet he's dying in an emergency room, only to be saved by his old friend.
Very little in this movie stands out. Sure, the script isn't unintelligent or bad, but take a typical Takeuchi Riki straight to video movie, toss in a few stock concepts, sprinkle with an colorful character or two, shake well, and voila.
The Cast and Characters.
Ozawa Hitoshi, for example. My assumption is that Hakuryu downplays everything because this is a man who will be dead in six months from cancer, but it makes for a sort of uninteresting performance. The issues Ri may be wrestling with aren't even really tackled in this movie, so Hakuryu isn't given much to work with anyway. I know Hakuryu has been in many Yakuza films (although none actually come to mind) but this would be one of his less impressive performances.
The Violent Rundown.
Blood was barely average for violence. It does start out right in the shit with three executions (and one of the victims looks suspiciously like Rokkaku Seiji, who played the chubby Assassin in Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins), and follows with 12 shootings, 2 snapped necks, 6 stabbings, one partial rape, one slashing, 2 strangulations, and someone getting blown up. Like I said, average.
The Final Verdict.
Tokyo Mafia: Yakuza Wars as far as quality goes, but without the slightly more interesting story and better cast. Blood is a B movie in every way, and only could really appeal to three types of people - Yakuza film fans, Takeuchi Riki fans, and people who just have to see all Japanese movies. Blood is not terrible in the same way that Tokyo Mafia: Yakuza Wars isn't terrible. It will satisfy people who are interested in the subject matter or some aspect of it, but probably won't do much for anyone else. Personally, I didn't hate it, but enjoyed it least of all the movies I've reviewed so far, with the possible exception of Yakuza Zombie. I can barely rank it above Yakuza Zombie as a film, but with a gun in my face and my back to the wall forced to choose, I'll put it just above, mostly because Yakuza Zombie was so much more ridiculous. You can view the trailer for Blood here.