Sympathy for the Underdog - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sympathy for the Underdog Reviews

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June 11, 2015
Puro filme de yakuza não preciso de muito mais que um protótipo de história de ambição e vingança para demonstrar que, em 1969, Kinji Fukasaku estaria já muito à frente na fórmula do filme de acção violento que viria inspirar Tarantino e outros que tais.
December 9, 2014
Interesting depiction of post-WWII underworld.
½ October 19, 2013
just ok slow cooking actioner
July 4, 2012
Gunji returns from prison to find his old mob broken up.. he picks up the pieces of his old gang and plans to take over Okinawa. .. will he succeed?
November 6, 2011
My first Fukasaku yakuza picture and it was...just ok.

Love the dirty, gritty feel to the film, and the bebop jazz soundtrack is great. The plot is pretty pedestrian and the characters are cliche'. The action is good, but I didn't find myself invested in it.

It sounds like I didn't like this movie, but it's really quite good. Just nothing special and I don't see it appealing to anyone outside of gangster film enthusiasts.

It's also noteworthy that this partly inspire the Beat Takeshi film 'Sonatine', which is a much better movie.
August 11, 2011
Sympathy for the Underdog (2001): classic Japanese old-school Yakuza movie... Watch it if you like #SONATINE #Kitano
½ January 8, 2011
Film à la narration hyper limpide, ce qui change à (C)normà (C)ment de ce qu'on peut voir de Fukasaku. Pour autant, il cherche toujours et atteint même l'imagerie marquante du règlement de compte criminel à l'à (C)cran; que demander de plus à un rà (C)alisateur de polars!!!
November 30, 2010
It's been almost Two Years since I've written a review, but I would like to write one on a forgotten gem called Sympathy for the Underdog. It was directed by the late Kinji Fukasaku as before his Yakuza Papers series which is his most famous Yakuza films he's ever made, as those films featured lack of Honor and loyality from Yakuza Clans. Here, was his last Straight Forward Yakuza Film which is my personal favorite from Kinji as it was the first Yakuza Film i ever saw from the genre and from the Director himself. But enough I feel like I'm rambling let's get to the review.

The Film Focuses on Gunji(Koji Tsuruta) An Ex-Yakuza Chief release from prison after doing ten years for knocking off A former Yakuza Boss. When he comes back, He finds out everything has changed in his Yokohama Turf. His old gang have been Expelled from the Yakuza World as A corporate Yakuza Clan from Tokyo have taken over All Yakuza Turfs and got rid of all small time groups in the area being the only Clan in the City.

Realizing he can't do much here in the mainland, Gunji recruits some of his old Clan members and Brings them to Okinawa, an island off the coast of Japan to start off a new Terrority.

Throughout their journey, They encounter many Local Yakuza not willing to give up their Terrority to a bunch unknown Hoodlems which leads to bloody brawls and Shootouts with some lives being lost but they Evenutally The Become The Top Gangsters in Okinawa.

Until, The Powerful Yakuza Clan from Tokyo notice the Booming Business that Gunji and his Men have created in Okinawa, which leads them to come down and Confront Gunji and his men.

Overall, This type of plot has be seen in countless films, but It's made up due to Kinji Fukasaku's Visual Style of Filming, For Example, Fukasaku has a love for Handheld Cameras as a Majority of the battles and fights have Shakey Camera Action which isn't annoying or anything as it brings a raw feel to the film as it's was a documentary or something. Plus his use to Freeze Frames and Screen Text to introduce Characters as well which I will admit, Can be very Confusing and you might get lost but don't get attach too much the character as either it's nobody important or that character might die in maybe ten minutes.

Another Praise I give this film is the solid Acting from the Cast. Koji Tsuruta is brilliant as Gunji. Usually in these type of films, The protangist is always a loud mouth, Hot head punk, but here, We are given a middle age Street Smart Man who never has raise his voice to intimate his enemy. Also another Note is that Gunji wears his Sunglasses for the entire movie the only time he takes them off is when he's having Sex with an Okinawa Hooker, How Cool is that!

Now even though, I praise this movie many times it's not perfect it does have it's flaws on Character Development and The Lack the of a main Villian.

For Example We know little to none on Gunji's Clan. They all have memorable moment in the film but it would of been nice to get to know a little more about these characters, unlike Gunji who narrates the throughout the film. Also Even Though They are A big Time Yakuza Gang that doesn't want to see our Heroes make it through the sunset. The Villians here are nothing to write home about as I felt they didn't have much of an impact as they would in the end as there only see in the the beginning and near the end of the film.

But what i will praise is the production Value. As during the Scene when Gunji lands in Okinawa, We get a Beautiful Montage of the streets of Okinawa. What I loved about these Yakuza Films is there On Set locations as it makes the film very real as well. Plus the Jazzy Score the movie brings. It brings out somewhat of a 1930's flavor to the film.

Overall, a very Enjoyable film a must see for yakuza fans.
½ July 27, 2010
Kinji Fukasaku, ma nouvelle référence.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2009
thought this movie was released around 2001; actually this movie was made around 1971. Basic yakuza fare; the lead actor is pretty cool and the plot is mildly interesting, but the supporting cast is rather pedestrian. QA fairly simple story and a pretty unrealistic outcome..nonetheless, held my interest and is an ok watch!
½ December 15, 2009
Another Fukasaku yakuza flick, with editing and movement as brassy and bold as its jazzy soundtrack. It's an exciting, dynamic picture. I really don't get off on yakuza movies. The plots and characters are all very same-y to me, and I never care about the characters. Yes, there's "sympathy for the underdog", but only because he's the center of the movie and the odds are against him. But for a yakuza movie, it's definitely one of the better ones I've seen.
½ April 12, 2009
Clear things up, this movie is from the 70's not 2005;

The editing made this film. The freeze frames, mug shot montages, and other effects were just awesome. The story was good, though a little rushed, as was the character development. However the awesome cast made up for a lot of this. The ending was awesome, however (not to spoil it) it would have been more epic had the film had about 20-30 minutes more development (for a yakuza epic 102 minutes is just tooo short).
May 26, 2008
Haven't seen this yet, but This can't be from 2005, Wakayama Tomisaburo died in 1992.
May 24, 2008
excellent japanese gangster flick that takes place in okinawa
½ May 16, 2008
An interesting film dealing with the yakuza and with corruption and morality within criminals, an odd and violent film at times but still a good film to see
½ March 27, 2008
Dated but still good.
½ February 11, 2008
Only 2 months too late for movieclub!
½ January 27, 2008
Better than the Godfather...
½ January 8, 2008
Driven out of Yokohama by the Daito Clan, Gunji and his misfits set up shop on Okinawa Island amidst american troops & contraband whisky... Decent Yakuza movie!
December 23, 2007
i love this movie.. makes me all crazy on the inside.. lol
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