THE YAKUZA Review: A Look Back At Sydney Pollack’s Masterpiece
If someone makes a list of manly movies, without any doubt this film deserves to be at the top of that list, because there’s no a bigger display of manhood that putting together onto the screen two badasses as Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura… in fact, the whole movie is an exercise of badassery wrapped into the crafty and sophisticated excellent job of Sydney Pollack who managed to make a really arty Yakuza movie, filled with gory moments of glorious violence and a good script that really captures the essence of Yakuza cinema, without making the mistake of most Hollywood movies when they go east, misrepresenting asian cultures, respecting all the essence of Japanese culture at its fullest. Mitchum plays a retired detective who returns to Japan after being several decades away to rescue his friend’s daughter from the Yakuza. Once there, he will meet again with a past he left behind and unpaid debts that he needs to settle. Mitchum was always a convincing and very charismatic actor in everything he did but in this movie he was completely overshadowed by a terrific Ken Takakura who stole all the show with his screen presence and astonishing badassery. Unfortunately he never became an international movie star because the movie flopped in the box office, which was a real pity, because the movie deserved to become a hit, but time always sort everything out and the passage of time has gained it a cult following that really deserves
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