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The most ridiculous thing about the film is the casting. If you have never seen this movie, it just has to be on the bucket list. Sydney Pollack directs yet another masterpiece. If you are looking for a ton of useless violence then move along, it is not about that.
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Movie club - just pop by and say hello - we're all very friendly I didn't really know what to expect going into Yakuza. Working with Schrader was Robert Towne, who had just written Chinatown and this film goes to show that consistency is just as hard to find holding the pen as anywhere else.
Sydney Pollack's direction is assured and he gets great performances from everyone, but I reckon it is the script thats the thing. So much of this rings true that it tingles with the excitement.
Moreover it is willie escoceses latino dating only US film I have ever seen that seems to have the vaguest notion of Japan and it culture. The film was shot mostly on location in Japan and the story builds itself around samurai tradition without weighing itself down with too much history.
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And their acting performance in the film was below average also. Everything about this film felt pretty dull and boring. This is certainly no classic but it does contain some solid action scenes built around a fully believable friendship between Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura who steals the show from the Hollywood veteran.
There is bloody action here but for a film with such a title nothing like as much as expected, and all the better for it. The expressions in their face and the dialogue delivery seemed very amateur.
There is no riddling nor intricate plot - it is straightforward and easy to follow yet portrays a brilliant story of respect, honour and tradition.
Fortunately I found the film to be far more enjoyable than its reputation and loved the lead character who had a real reverence for Japanese culture and its people.
It just doesn't date.
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The 70s streets of Tokyo and Kyoto are something to behold and the believable interaction between the main characters quite fabulous.
Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura are simply brilliant. The script was a typical one, it had no strong or moving character which audience could admire.
A cursory glance at Google quickly showed it wasn't particularly well received on release. I was also under the preconceived notion that this would be one of those American in Japan films that would be less than flattering to the people of its setting. There are bunch of old timers in this so called action based film, which made the action sequences a bit funny rather than exciting.
In fact, some of the fight scenes are pretty realistic from the point of view that the antagonists appear to be well aware of their mortality and show their hesitation in putting their lives on the line. The script is thoughtful, respectful to culture and very mature.
Love, memory, betrayal, loyalty and repayment of debts both financial and emotional are all here - oh and Robert Mitchum and ken Takakura are great. It neither had any gripping story nor have any dramatic climax. Screenplay by Paul Schrader and his brother just before he did Taxi Driver should have drawn attention but then maybe the Scorsese film took all the attention.