Previously at the ICA - Films
8 Oct 2015
BFI London Film Festival: 238 films. From 71 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Prolific Japanese auteur/icon Takeshi Kitano’s latest sees him switch beats from action back to comedy, with this droll farce about a group of elderly, retired Yakuza who reteam to take revenge on a younger rival gang after their leader Ryuzo (veteran star Tatsuya Fuji, In the Realm of the Senses) is duped by a phone scam.
Though still legends in their own minds, these aging tough guys have to contend as much with their own physical and mental frailties as their adversaries’ strength; indeed, as much time is spent boastfully comparing former glories—‘you can’t take credit for those murders committed by your henchmen!’ one grumbles—as current vendettas. It’s broad, easy going fun and, while Kitano himself only cameos as a hard-nosed detective (what else?), it’s hard to resist a film whose frenetic climax is inspired equally by Samurai and Weekend at Bernie’s.
(Notes by Leigh Singer)
Ryuzo and his Seven Henchmen, dir. Takeshi Kitano, Japan 2015, 104 mins.