Monday, July 27, 2015

Ryuzo And His Seven Henchmen (2015) Fantasia 2015

Takashi Kitano has made another Yakuza film after his OUTRAGE films, only this time is more or less gentle comedy about bored gangsters wanting to get back into the game.

Ryuzo is an old tattooed yakuza member living at home with his son. His son is embarrassed by his dad and when he's practicing sword moves in the front yard he wants his dad to wear a shirt so the neighbors don't see. Hanging out with his old buddies he off handedly suggests they start a new family and before anyone knows it they are getting the "band" back together including guys who should stay in the hospital. They soon find themselves up against the modern day criminal-and it turns out not to be a fair fight.

Call this Takashi-Lite.

A small gem of a movie that is uniquely Japanese and uniquely Takashi Kitano film. Hitting every one of the oldster wants his old life tropes, Kitano spins them out in ways that you probably never thought of to make a film that is both familiar and something new with the reveal of some some of the old gang being in questionable taste but very funny (the razor expert no longer being able to shave for example)

While the film is not as out there as some of his comedies or as violent as some of the yakuza films the film is revealing in a gentleness and genuine love for the characters and their plight, something that isn't typical for many of the director's other films. While Kitano may have lost some of the intensity, there is a warmth that usually is missing in his films. This film is strangely like a big bear hug.

I call it a Lite film not because it's bad, rather because the lack of intensity or complexity make this a film that is going to be looked down on  by some people who want complex films every time instead of good films. This is a very good film

This film is a lot of fun. Highly recommended when the film plays tonight at 720 at Fantasia. For tickets and more information go here

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