In this delighful film Masao, a gloomy, lonely elementary school student decides to travel south to find his mother who abandoned him with his grandmother several years ago. Unfortunately for our young hero he has little money and his destination is quite a ways off. However, luckily, or maybe unluckily, for, he encounters two of his grandmother's ormer neighbors: a tough talking woman and a former yakuza, played by Kitano Takeshi. The woman feeling sorry for the young boy, has her husband escourt the young boy to his mother's home, giving her husband 50,000 yen for travel expenses. Unfourtunately, instead of using the money to make a quick trip to their destination, the former yakuza gambles the money away at a bicycle race. This episode begins a sequence of events that results in the unlikely duo meeting vast variety of individuals, including two not so tough bikers, a traveling musician, a juggling girl and her boyfriend, a scary man, and many many others.
If you are expecting the same Kitano Takeshi in this film as he appearx in _Fireworks_ or _Violent Cop_ prepare to be surprised. Kitano's character in this film, although he can be quite rude and crass, is really a sweet guy at heart, and it shows through out the film in the compassion and concern he shows for Masao. However, this compassion can be a bit too saccharine at times, such as when Kitano's character, the musician, and the two bikers, camp out and play with Masao. There are some funny scenes here, but it makes you feel like you are going to become a sugar cube at any moment. Also, there are also a couple of disturbing scenes in this movie such as when Masao meets the scary man who promises to take him to his mother. I won't say why, but guard yourself when you see the bald man. Overall this is a good film that seems to drag at points, but makes up for it with a few very funny sequences.