Bad Boys for Life
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Brooding, violent and intriguing all at the same time. This was my first exposure to a Takeshi Kitano movie - and although it might not be his best, it has peaked my interest in more.
There are many elements of this movie that are fascinating, but left mostly unexplored. The relationship between the "brothers" (both real and through loyalty to a "family"), the Yakuza gangster culture and code of ethics, and the warring gang factions.
I found it changed little for Yamamoto to go to Los Angeles. For a brief period there... he could've tried to do something other than be a drug lord -- but whether through learned habits or a split decision he once again starts down the exact same path of a drug ring leader.
This movie certainly doesn't glorify a gangster life - instead portraying a world where death is always present, and there seems to be little room for mistakes. Getting your pinkie finger cut off is a small disciplinary measure for mistakes... and the stakes go up quickly.
Stark. Violent. Sad. But interesting. Worth watching, and then looking for more from this talented director and fascinating leading men.
I can never understand why critics want depth of story telling and character development in gangster films. Why do we need to paint a picture of drug dealing murderers as conflicted men on trying to find the proper path? Brother is one of the few gangster films that doesn't try to create a moral high ground for killers to stand on, and that's what makes it great. THEY KNEW HOW THIS HAD TO END! Because the had the samurai spirit they faced their end like men. Too many people don't understand samurai spirit though and will never understand...
This movie was funny and had a decent body count. What more can one ask for?
Kitano's flair for visuals and violence comes through neatly in this massively underrated gem.
still can't believe this is the first movie i've seen in a movie theater, 7 years back then :D
The people giving bad reviews can't relate to any American gang life or Yakuza tradition it's as good a movie as Scarface
Not the unmitigated disaster I was expecting, but still very awkward. The scenes in Japan are quite good, but pretty much everything involving Americans made me cringe (I could hardly watch Denny's mother's birthday party). And Kitano's timing is way off, with scenes going on way too long, and the attempts at comic relief (so perfect in Sonatine and Hana-bi) falling completely flat. A failed experiment.
En partant aux USA, Takeshi Kitano n'a absolument pas altere son sens de la violence graphique ni sa maniere singuliere de raconter des histoires pourtant tres simples. Interprete par des acteurs en etat de grace et mis en musique par l'immense Joe Hisaishi, Aniki mon frere est un drame tres noir indispensable.
Directed by Takeshi Kitano, (Violent Cop (1989), Boiling Point (1990) and Hana-Bi (1997)), this is a highly violent gangster thriller which would be Kitano's first film outside Japan, funded with help of Oscar-winning British producer Jeremy Thomas. This film should have got Kitano mainstream recognition, but the experience of filming in America took it's toll on Kitano, it's a good film but there's nothing special about it. Yakuza officer Yamamoto (Kitano) has come to Los Angeles after a bloody gang war in Tokyo, which left him a wanted man, disgraced and marked for death. In LA, Yamamoto tracks down his half-brother Ken (Claude Maki) and Ken's friend, small time drugs dealer Denny (Omar Epps). Yamamoto joins Ken's gang, and his way of violence is shocking for their American counterparts, and it's before long before Yamamoto has made a new gang by joining forces with crime lord Shirase (Masaya Katô), whose power and size throughout the LA underworld is growing. But when the Mafia try to warn the gang to back off, Yamamoto has to make a difficult decision, back down or fight back. It's well made, and it is violent and Kitano manages to multi-task well as actor, writer, editor and director, and he does well with his first English language film. Even though stuff like this has been done before, there is some features to admire.
Best Yakuza movie ever made :D