Youth of the Beast (The Brute) (Yajû no seishun)

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83%

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Total Count: 6

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,389
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Movie Info

Youth of the Beast marked a turning point in director Seijun Suzuki's career. No longer content to just crank out production-line gangster films, here Suzuki starts to assert his own voice. The plot is fairly typical for the genre: chipmunk-cheeked Jo Shishido stars as ex-cop Jo Mizuno, who muscles his way into the shadowy world of the yakuza. He gets hired by the clan that killed his former partner while double-dealing with the clan's rival. Yet the plot contains some particularly Suzuki-like details. Why is Jo's partner more interested in guns than in women? Why does Hide, the notorious gay gangster, always slash the face of anyone who mentions his mother? What does this all have to do with the Takeshita School of Knitting? Suzuki's audacious style heightens the absurdity and artifice of both the genre and the medium with pop-art colors, loopy camera placements, and bizarre, dream-like images: A feather-clad dancer silently struts behind sound-proofed two-way mirrors, a pink dust storm serendipitously occurs while a pimp whips a junkie prostitute. The film is a dizzying visual feast whose tone Seijun Suzuki would amplify to the most absurd heights in his later films, Tokyo Drifter (1966) and Branded to Kill (1967). ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Youth of the Beast (The Brute) (Yajû no seishun)

All Critics (6) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Youth of the Beast (The Brute) (Yajû no seishun)

  • Apr 06, 2014
    No one makes 60's Japanese crime films like Seijun Suzuki and here is another prime example with "Youth Of The Beast". Always a mystery with several twists and turns while following the main character Jo who is a bit of a mystery himself. Plus the action is great, colours pop like a Suzuki film should, and the story is well thought out. If you want to check out a cool crime flick, give this one a go before moving on to Suzuki's later and more famous flicks like "Tokyo Drifter" and "Branded To Kill".
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2011
    Engaging and experimental but still mostly a conventional action flick with some plot twists and a hero (Joe Shishido) who is trying to tie up loose ends. It all comes together in the end, but it is contrived in the manner it is presented. Until the very end, it is very confusing and disjointed at points. Entertainment, little else.
    G S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2011
    "Youth of the Beast" is another highly entertaining and fun Seijun Suzuki film filled with action, violence, humor and just plain style! This is just a flat out fun film to watch as there is always something going on and some really cool set pieces that are a load of film to watch unfold. Jo Shishido and his cheeks star as an ex-cop who is out for revenge against the yakuza who in the past killed his partner. While the story itself is nothing new or inventive, it's the style and mood of the film that really sets it apart and makes it worth watching and makes it so damn enjoyable to view! If you like Japanese films, especially any of Criterion's releases such as the Nikkatsu Noir Eclipse set, Branded to Kill or Tokyo Drifter this is another great release to check out!
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2009
    a fairly incoherent story and confusing shot sequences along with sub-par acting almost tanked this film for me, but it was balanced by an emphasis on style and plot intrigue. this re-imaging of the yojimbo plotline was a far cry from the original, and despite being taken from yojimbo it actually reminded me more of scorsese's "mean streets" as a heralded film that fell empty for me. an average film, but if youre a fan of suzuki there is no reason to avoid it.
    danny d Super Reviewer

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