Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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An early Seijun Suzuki noir that oozes class, style and story. Great, great stuff and an early indicator of some of the tremendous and at times slightly subversive films Suzuki had in store for us in years to come. A classic from a master.
Delving into the Nikkatsu Noir set, this is the first selection I've tried and I have to say that it's pretty damned entertaining for a first Noir outing in Japan for me, and I look forward to the rest of the set.
Check it out.
good tale of revenge and payback
One of Seijun Suzuki's earlier works, he's not all out and crazy at this point, but he's more of a confident director of action and crime films. "Take Aim At The Police Van" was adapted from a short crime story, but through the point of view of a prison guard who is on suspension for supposed 'negligence', but decides to get to the bottom of a crime that ended with some prisoners dead. It's a pretty gripping story and mystery that goes deeper and deeper until we see some pretty unexpected drama by the end. Standard noir-ish stuff, with some forgotten 50's Nikkatsu players, but of very good quality in filmmaking nonetheless.
One of Suzuki's pre-1963 "normal" movies, and yes it is a masterpiece. If this had made at Columbia Pictures at this time, it would have entered the canon.
one of the best titles ever in a good but not great early Suzuki film
Early Suzuki is not as accomplished or daring as his later stuff, but it's still fun to watch. It's a pretty traditional 'whodunnit'. It focuses more on the mystery than any of the characters, but it definitely had me interested to find out who the identity of the "big bad". Although the revelation is less than spectacular, the gorgeous cinematography and fast-paced plot kept me interested. The fact that the running time is only 79 minutes definitely helps.
This Nikkatsu production finds a prison guard under suspension for six months after a police van is attacked and two inmates are killed. Tamon decides to investigate the killings on his own time, and discovers an underworld of deceit.
The plot starts off pretty good, but the main character has very little to no charisma. If Joe Shashido were in his place, it wouldn't work because Joe is a cool guy, while this actor is a bit ho hum and never intriguing.
It does have the trademark noir moments, such as death traps or surprise kills. The twist isn't very effective and the ending is pretty lacking. One of the lesser entries in the Nikkatsu Noir Criterion Collection.
A convoluted who-done-it in which a prison officer tries to uncover who gunned down two prisoners in his care and why they were killed. It would have been much better if it spent more time developing the characters and conflict instead of abruptly jumping from scene to scene, confusing the viewer and making us play catch-up.
As one of Suzuki's first feature works, Take Aim at the Police Van is a dark and wonderfully lensed film that perfectly represents the Nikkatsu Noir genre. Black and White and stunningly beautiful, the film drips with style and the story is gripping the entire run time. If you're into Japanese, Noir, or just stylish films this is definitely worth a watch!