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Friday, October 2, 2015

LA EigaFest 2015: Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen Review: Old men can still be funny

Takeshi Kitano has a very strange sense of humor, you've probably seen him in over a dozen movies from Japan and may have never known his name. Over there he's a star, does talk shows and is a director. Takeshi takes us down the road of new crime and old crime going on in Japan with Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen a complete farce on the gangster drama in Japan.

Ryuzo, played by Tatsuya Fuji, brings back together his old Yakuza crew and I mean old. So old there exploits are shown in black-in-white in memory. He brings them together after he's son essentially kicks him out after reconnecting with a few of his old team. They slowly start to learn the old ways of the Yakuza are mostly gone. Scams are the new ways of the youth. More than one instance brings Ryuzo and his men up against the new Yakuzo that have taken over their old hunting grounds.

His men all have strange characteristics to get behind and have their quirks. One likes to draw a gun when not necessary and dress like a rock star. Another thinsk he's a Kamikaze pilot. Each has his own schtick. The movie builds on them coming together and at every turn doing a bad job as Yakuza while still ruining plans for the younger Yakuza.

For those outside of Japan you might learn about many of the problems plaguing its residence.  So many scams take place from the new Yakuza, you kind of want the old school thuggery of the past instead of telephone scams.

The last few minutes of the film truly shine with a final confrontation so silly the audience and I were laughing are heads off at the level of stupidity and absurdity on screen. A corpse should never be used that way, and over and over again. He's already dead, he's already dead and they used him so wrong.

You can see their was not a huge budget and they're aren't any big special effects. It's not a joke a minute movie, when a bizarre joke hits-the style of Takeshi-it always hits its mark. Ryuzo is a tale about an utterly stupid bunch of old men that you'll like to laugh at as they fail.