As ever, the first order of business for Takeshi Kitano, director, is ensuring that Takeshi Kitano, actor, looks cool at all times. In this particular vanity-project he plays a Yakuza exiled to the United States, who rises through the underworld ranks to become a powerful mob boss -- much like Pacino's Tony Montana in "Scarface" -- before an ill-advised war with the Mafia brings his empire crashing down. Also like "Scarface", the nature of Kitano's business once he's hit the big-time is very superficially sketched, jettisoned in favour of painfully unfunny culture-clash comedy, excruciating sentimentality and a lot of honourable Yakuza self-mutilation. The absence of plot leaves one plenty of time to reflect whether Kitano's anti-heroes would be quite so laconic if he were a better actor. "Brother" is indifferently acted, as unattractively photographed as a TV movie, and it has a ghastly, maudlin jazz soundtrack. Of the half-dozen Kitano movies I've seen, this is the worst.