Slow, ponderous, but far more than a quick wipe, this film is a thick absorbing towel. Managing to make baseball interesting for someone who yawns on instinct, when American sports are mentioned, is one spectacular achievement. This details revenge and camaraderie within the prison of alienation. The garage attendant, the man of no confidence finds courage to anhilate the local thugs. The film illuminates the dirty back streets of Japan where neon signs do not shine and shopping malls are a cultural erasure.
Violence rears in blasts, sometimes comic, mostly gruesome. Woman beating, rape, homosexual bullying is revealed as commonplace, no big deal, just a backdrop. This is how it is. In between are comic events producing howls of laughter. Other moments when I shielded my eyes, with gut, wrenching agony.
The garage attendant threads his path through this film to the non predictable inevitable end. The camerwork, the jumps in story, the comic events are Tarratinoesque. Japan's sense of film artistry and audiences willingess to follow just appears light years ahead of western mainstream kino kulture. Now 20 years old, apart from the cars and the TV's it has a modern sensibility.
This is not a film for teenagers or those who want quick resolutions. Beat Takeshi plays one of the meanest screen boyfriends ever without appearing overwrought. People not deemed to be the incrowd are expendable, whilst true to life, counters American buddy inclusiveness. It is slow, nasty and dark but never dull. Masculine need respect is the biggest suicide killer across the planet. This film details the minutae of the process and the end result.