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pretty dull first half, better second half, also too long and a little too generic. other than that it's pretty awesome, if that makes sense. once I could actually fully tell what was going on (frankly some of the stuff with the gangs, who was fighting who and who was at war on which side confused me at times in the first half) with the one character who loses his boss after taking a yakuza guy hostage, then it picked up steam and was fine. but for many it will be dullsville. It didn't really need to be an "epic".
Miike delivers a good, more down-to-earth and dramatic Yakuza film.
Okay yakuza tale from Miike. Not his best but very slick and well put together, and is reminiscent of Fukasaku's great 70s gangster films. The choice of music is worth noting as it reminds me of French new wave...
A very restrained Miike film about the politics of the Yakuza, where board meetings about possible mergers and successions are mixed up with short burst of extreme violence. Interesting movie that further demonstrates Miike's versatility.
great Yakuza epic but not one of Miike's best films. there are great characters in this film but none really stand out like you might expect from a Miike film. it also seems a bit too long but every second of the film in important. the story is great and there were some Miike-esqe scenes but it didn't have the same kind of punch that a lot of his other films have. i'd consider this great for a casual viewer because it lacks some of that Miike punch... i also suggest Sabu
So it's all about politics, mergers and acquisitions in this epic yakuza flick. It's only a shame the banking world doesn't kill itself off in similar fashion. The world would be a much better place ...
Quand T. Miike veut bien se donner la peine, c'est pas mal du tout !
Beautiful/Brutal, Miikes Masterpiece
Takashi Miike's Agitator is a story set in the world of the Japanese Yakuza. A larger gang engineers the death of two of its smaller rivals leaders in an attempt to absorb them into their family, not counting on the fierce loyalty of one of their factions and their need for retribution. This film is ultimately about the difference between the needs of big business and the individual set in the brutal world of crime. Kunihiko is not shown as a hero exactly, just a man with an honest single-mindedness who cannot forget the loyalty to his "brothers" forged on the street for the sake of business interests; something that the slippery, money obsessed pseudo-bureaucrats at the top of the ladder cannot understand. It's a tough, uncompromising gangster story filled with graphic violence and has some interesting subtexts, as Kunihiko is shown almost as a samurai Ronin who has no purpose in life other than to avenge his master. Scenes involving a woman who I can only assume is Kunihiko's girlfriend pop up randomly and seem out of place mainly because she is never even mentioned when she is off screen, but otherwise its a cleverly plotted and visceral gangster film that I'd recommend to all fans of Takeshi Kitano and Martin Scorsese, or crime drama in general.
It's a sprawling awesome Yakuza epic full of everything the perfect gangster film needs. The movie is long, but builds into a mess of betrayals across all families all coming back to the small Higuchi gang. The movie isn't as violent as the other miike Yakuza films, but it didn't need to be. It's all about the undying loyalty of one solider to his boss and how he takes it on himself to dish out vengeance to anyone and everyone who deserves it. The main character is very likable and this is by far one of the strongest Miike Yakuza films as well as one of the best gangster movies in general out there.