This is a Japanese gangsta flick from the directorial hand of Takeshi Kitano. It is a full throttle story of the Yakuza and the various families (or crime syndicates) that control the Kanto region. It is full of intrigue and double plotting but the one thing that runs as a vein throughout this film is violence. Good old fashioned, medieval, nasty violence.
The Uber crime Lord is called Mr Chairman and actually does dress like some despotic ruler of a `democratic republic' like say North Korea. Even his servants wear the same white tracksuits - even when they are serving dinner, I think you will find that Debretts classes that as a massive faux pas, but hey these are Japanese Mafiosi types and so probably aren't well read.
He discovers that two of his under lords have made some sort of pact to be `sworn brothers' whilst both serving time in one of Japans 1 star detention facilities. This he does not like and so demands that a sort of insult be done to prove that not all brothers get along. Well one thing leads to another and as face is lost, and a few other bits - like fingers-, the retaliations ramp up. The land and power grabs all come at a price and the fortunes of each change with the rapidity of a guns magazine being emptied.
This is acted, directed and filmed in a stylish and no holds barred way. It just roars along, and keeps the shocks coming. There are some well inventive ways of dealing with your enemies and some brutal violence that made me squirm. The Japanese codes of honour and rampant disrespect to your underlings are heavily in evidence. This is just naked greed meets unfettered ambition in a tsunami of double crosses and violence and I thought it was excellent.
This is not one for the squeamish but all lovers of extreme Asian cinema will find a place for this in their collections. In Japanese with a smidgin of English, this is not that short a film but just flew by for me - highly recommended.