The 3rd in the Battles Without Honor movie series find our protagonist Shozo Hirono in Hiroshima during 1960 (with the story having moved on from 1945 in the first movie) and he's done very well for himself - he is now head of his own little yakuza clan and friends with 3 more bosses of small clans. However it doesn't take long for suspicion and betrayal to rear it's ugly head when Hirono's previous boss Yamamori comes back on the scene after the head of Hiroshima's biggest yakuza family is bumped off and Yamamori takes over. Naturally his resentment of Hirono comes to the fore and he would be more than happy for somebody to take him out. Alliances are formed and broken as the streets of Hiroshima explode into all out wars with Hirono in the middle of it all.
Another very enjoyable entry and probably an improvement on the first movie (I will watch the 2nd movie in the series when I get a chance). The plot of this movie is very much like a chess game - bosses trying to make other bosses into making a mistake so they can take over Hiroshima's biggest clan. Trying to keep out of the situation at first but inevitably being forced to take sides is Hirono in the hope of deposing his hated enemy Yamamori. Bunta Sugawara is fantastic once more as the bad ass Hirono. You've got to feel sorry for his character. People he calls friends betrays him time after time. Director Kinji Fukasaku keeps us interested in the storyline with plenty of backstabbing, suspense and heavy violence. Fukasaku's vision of yakuza life is there's no such thing as loyalty - you can be friends with a rival clan one minute and the next you're plotting their downfall. The movie chugs along at a nice energetic pace so you're never bored watching it. The only problem with watching this movie is you want to know what happens next - nothing is resolved in the plot so I guess I'll have to watch the final 2 installments to find out the conclusion to the whole saga.