The Fire Within (Onibi) (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fire Within (Onibi) (1997)

The Fire Within (Onibi)





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Veteran actor Yoshio Harada stars as world-weary gangster Noriyasu Kunihiro in this shaded character study by way of a two-fisted yakuza drama. The film opens with Kunihiro getting out of stir and praying at the grave of his former boss. He is fed up with the mobster life and aware that another stint in jail will end with a trip to the hangman; thus, he wants to go straight. He asks his former underling (Sho Aikawa) for a job and lands one as a driver for a sauve yakuza don (Eiji Okuda). Well aware of Kunihiro's blood-soaked past as a hit man, the godfather is only making sure he hasn't lost his touch. Kunihiro gets an opportunity to prove his innate skills when he is asked to lean on a couple of debtors who are unwilling to pay. The result is violence but effective. Pleased with Kunihiro's work, the don rewards him with the company of an attractive hostess-bar piano player named Asako (Reiko Kataoka) and surprisingly they hit it off. Later, Kunihiro is dropped from the gang because of his previous violent encounter with the debtors -- bad for business, they explain. For a while, Kunihiro is a happy man with his beautiful girlfriend and his legitimate job as a printer. That is, until the gangster world beckons him again. This film was directed by former pinku eiga director Rokuro Mochizuki. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 26, 2005


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All Critics (1)

The deliberately paced script derives from an account by an ex-syndicate lawyer but is toned down from the brutal yakuza depictions audiences expect.

Full Review… | March 17, 2011
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