HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Tower
Message from the King
Street Smart
Mountain
   
 
Newest Articles
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
   
 
  Shinjuku Triad Society Brothers In ArmsBuy this film here.
Year: 1995
Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Takeshi Caesar, Kyosuke Izutsu, Ren Osugi, Kippei Shiina, Tomorrow Taguchi, Airi Yanagi
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Considering the strange and disturbing areas that Takashi Miike has explored over the last few years, the plot basics of the director’s first feature film-proper (after various made-for-video projects) seem almost ordinary by comparison. It’s very much an updating of Kinji Fukasaku’s brand of 70s Yakuza thriller, but if the story and characters are nothing we haven’t seen before, then the gripping pacing and intense violence make it a vivid experience.

Like John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, Shinjuku Triad Society concerns two brothers on either side of the law. Kiriya is a Chinese-born cop on the mean streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district who thinks nothing of breaking a chair over a female suspect’s face to extract a confession, but is also a loving son to his elderly parents who have found it difficult fitting into Japanese society. Kiriya’s younger brother Yoshihito is a lawyer, but he’s chosen to represent psychotic gangster Wang, who runs Shinjuku’s most feared Chinese Triad gang and profits from an organ trafficking operation run from a hospital in Taiwan.

As heroes go, the violent, rule-breaking Kiriya is hardly a strong role model, but Miike succeeds in making him a sympathetic figure. His relationship with Yoshihito is believable, as is his determination to keep his brother’s occupation a secret from his parents and remove him from Wang’s employment. The other characters are less well drawn – Wang is a cartoon psychopath, while the various cops, prostitutes (male and female) and gangsters that populate Shinjuku are all pretty generic. However, the racial tension that exists between the Triad gangs and the native Yakuza is fascinating – the reckless arrogance of the Taiwanese and Chinese gangsters in assuming their role in the Tokyo underworld is shown in stark contrast to the Yakuza’s long-established codes of honour (that said, given that Miike is Japanese, his portrayal of the Triads might not be entirely without bias).

Miike has never been a director to stick to one style of shooting during a film, and here he experiments with different lenses, handheld and static camerawork and conjures up all manner of interesting camera angles. The shock level is high too – there’s gore (an eyeball torn from a woman’s skull, several messy throat slittings) and sexual violence (including a confession extracted via anal rape) – some of which is necessary to the plot, some less so. But it’s never boring, and apart from a haunting section in which Kiriya traces Wang’s operation to Taiwan, moves along at a breathless pace.

Aka: Shinjuku Kuroshakai: Chaina Mafia Sensô
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 12600 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Takashi Miike  (1960 - )

Japan’s most controversial director, notorious for his dauntingly prolific output and willingness to push the boundaries of taste. Miike started working as an assistant director in the late 80s, before moving into making straight-to-video thrillers in 1991. He made his feature debut in 1995 with the violent cop thriller Shinjuku Triad Society, and since then has averaged around seven films year.

His best best known pictures are the deeply twisted love story Audition, the blackly comic gorefest Ichi the Killer, cannibal comedy musical Happiness of the Katakuris and the often surreal Dead or Alive trilogy. Films such as The Bird People in China and Sabu showed a more restrained side. With later works such as samurai epic 13 Assassins and musical For Love's Sake he showed no signs of slowing down. A true original, Miike remains one of the most exciting directors around.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: