Family (Miike Collection)
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Made the same year as his Visitor Q, acclaimed director Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Izo) explores a different type of family dynamic. In Family, it's about rival Yakuza families constantly at bloody war with each other. Lightening Takeshi is a hit man hired to execute a mobster but is identified in the process by a woman. So now he and his family are in danger in their rivals' pursuit of revenge. When Takeshi eventually falls for the female witness, loyalties will be tested and a lot of destruction will ensue! Based on the popular manga by Hisao Maki (Bodyguard Kiba, Silver).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The film itself is one of Takashi's more visually interesting, perhaps daring, efforts with an interesting use of grainy, streaky, and oddly lit shot sequences combined with wonderfully bizarre camera angles and perspectives. One often has to refocus on the unfolding scene to get a handle on what one is actually watching.
For this one, fluency in the Japanese would be most helpful because there is an awful lot going on here and the subtitles aren't up to the job of conveying all of the subtleties of the story, I think.
The story revolves around, roughly, the shared, although disparate, trajectories of a trio of brothers born to a ne'er do well drunkard and a victimized mother. Suffice it to say that their early life experiences have colored their actions leading them to join their second family, the Yakuza.
Big trouble begins when the youngest brother is identified during a yakuza hit causing a gang war to break out. He goes into hiding but the race is on to find him, on the one hand by a vengeful mob and on the other by his vengeful brothers.
This movie doesn't have the charisma that most of Miike's other mob movies do, in my opinion. The sex and violence are also not as imaginatively done but I love the visuals and the really daring lighting effects. The complexity of the plot will have me going back to rewatch this in a year or so, I think, and I'll finish this review at Family 2, the second half of this tale.
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