The creative force behind this volatile, visually arresting film
is Takeshi Kitano, a noted comedian and performance artist. A sort of
Japanese John Garfield he has emerged as a powerful screen
personality as well. Here he plays a hilariously tight-lipped and
terrifyingly tough detective. The strong, silent type he's a glaring
example of police brutality, using wet towels or any weapon at hand
to effectively disarm his gangster victims with stunning speed. His
sadistic exploits leave the audience gasping such as when he simply
drops a knife over the face of a fallen yakuza.
The news that his wife is dying and his partner is paralyzed from
a gunshot wound sends him over the edge into the world of mob hits
and criminal activity. While his lonely partner, with his help,
develops into an artist (his Seurat-like paintings of flower petals
and his estranged family have a whimsical charm) he robs a bank. The
film then takes an unexpectedly poignant turn as he and his wife
enjoy a final holiday together, playing games and laughing like two
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