HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
   
 
Newest Articles
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
   
 
  Gonin Your Heist For Tonight
Year: 1995
Director: Takashi Ishii
Stars: Kôichi Satô, Masahiro Motoki, Jinpachi Nezu, Kippei Shîna, Naoto Takenaka, Takeshi Kitano, Kazuya Kimura, Hideo Murota, Eiko Nagashima, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Chiaki Kuriyama, Shingo Tsurumi, Megumi Yokoyama
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mikihiko Bandai (Kôichi Satô) is a nightclub owner in Japan who has been feeling the pinch lately thanks to the pressures of the city's local Yakuza on his business, making demands on his profits they want a cut of for protection money. One night, he is at the baseball practice ground, finding the activity frustratingly difficult when he has an altercation with a salaryman in the next section, and this follows him outside where he gets into a brief but bloody fistfight with him. Feeling guilty when he knocks the man down, Bandai gives him a lift, which takes them back to his nightclub and another altercation, this time with Junichi Mitsuya (Masahiro Motoki), a gay gangster of low level crime...

Gonin would be Takashi Ishii's best-known movie, and if you want evidence of that look to its success which spawned an almost immediate sequel, and a years later third instalment as he tried to recapture his old glories. This was the one to see, however, a gangster flick that was arranged like a black comedy, yet in practice was more tragic as we watch Bandai and the team he has assembled to battle the Yakuza stumble and fall in their scheme to put one over on them. The idea seems simple enough: rob the boss they owe money to, then pay him with the cash they have stolen, and he will be none the wiser. This plan reckons without the deep flaws in the characters of the robbers.

Which was the theme, the old best laid plans yarn that heist movies tended to adhere to here offered a Japanese flavour, meaning deapan humour that may not even be detectable, and plenty of bloody violence as everyone's chickens came home to roost. Bandai was a sympathetic type anyway, though that was largely thanks to everyone else being so hostile towards him, therefore his big mistake is trying to do unto others as they are doing to him, especially when what others are doing is nothing good or decent. Sometimes the well-known maxim "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" simply does not apply, and this moral lapse doesn't solely doom our hapless hero.

Adding an unusual accent on the crime saga material was that Bandai and Mitsuya fall in love, despite Mitsuya trying to murder him in the first quarter hour of the story which he then shrugs off as he takes off all his clothes and wanders around Bandai's apartment looking for the shower. Thus is apparently all it takes to arouse the nightclub owner's romantic interest, though Ishii didn't go overboard with it, there were very few scenes of actual affection between them, and they barely kissed until the last half hour when the stakes have been raised so much that they need one grand gesture to share before they both go down fighting. And what do you know, one of the hitmen they are fighting is Takeshi Kitano.

Takeshi was featured prominently in the project's advertising, yet he was not really the main star; in fact, this was closer to an ensemble effort by the cast, despite the love affair being supposedly central to the heart of the plot. He appeared in typically straight-faced style, going about the task of murder for profit with his own unique presence lending an even more eccentric tone to what was fairly unconventional as it stood, and as he shared the final scene it was he you may remember more than the two ostensible leads. There was a determinedly offbeat mood to Gonin that Japan fans would probably respond to, but if you were new to Yakuza movies this was debatably not a good choice to start with, as it took some getting used to with its assembly of sequences prompting the query, is this supposed to be funny? You imagine Ishii wouldn't be averse to generating laughter, but there was a sincerity to the ultimate personal disasters on display that was disarming. Music by Gorô Yasukawa.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1366 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Takashi Ishii  (1946 - )

Japanese writer/director who gained attention in the 1970s as a comic book artist. Ishii's first work in the film industry was as a scriptwriter, penning a variety of fantasy/sci-fi/horror flicks throughout the 80s, including the notorious gore flick Evil Dead Trap. Began directing in 1988 - his stylish and often shocking films are heavily influenced by adult manga strips, the most notable examples being the Black Angel films, bloody crime thrillers Gonin, Gonin 2 and Gonin Saga and rape revenge drama Freeze Me.

 
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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: