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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.15%
Average: 6.06%
Pretty Bad: 24.24%
Total Crap: 6.06%

2 reviews, 21 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Not a blood relation."
2 stars

Has America corrupted another talent?

Well, to be fair, I don’t know how truly talented Takeshi Kitano was to begin with, and his prior effort “Kikujiro” was evidence of that by itself, but his first American-made project “Brother,” is of little merit. Whether or not gangster movies are trendy in Japan, writer/editor/director/actor Takeshi Kitano (as an actor, billed as “Beat” Takeshi) is famous for his. And to be fair, his earlier films, which I might add I have not seen, such as “Sonatine,” “Hana-bi,” and “Violent Cop,” come with recommendation. Then again, the heavier end of that recommendation comes from a Hong Kong-favoring colleague of mine who also thinks Tsui Hark is a worthy director. In “Brother,” his first movie made and set outside of Japan, perhaps the biggest aberration is the fact that the majority of this story was set in Los Angeles. Playing a troubled Yakuza gangster, Takeshi is asked to leave Japan or be killed. Vying for life, he goes to stay with his younger brother in L.A., a street-punk gangster, leagues away from attaining the same sort of status of his elder frat. Unhappy with what he considers mediocrity, the Yakuza adapts and adopts his violent and illegal traditions (to mention a few) in the cinematic capitol and creates a giant gang war. There never is any permissible purpose or motivation for anything that happens in the movie, and to think that the whole excuse for the movie’s premise of having this gang war between the Japanese and blacks against other Japanese and the Mafia are only because Yamamoto (Takeshi) was unsatisfied doing nothing, is preposterous. Ennui is not a good enough reason to start a gang war, nor is a good enough reason to bother yourself with seeing this. The high bodycount is apposite to the low I.Q. that went into this.

With Omar Epps, Claude Maki, Masaya Kato and a cameo by Tatyana Ali.

Final Verdict: D.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/17/01 02:11:24
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/03/11 chris c Poetic film with some bad performances though Kitano did a mostly good movie 4 stars
1/20/09 Brap Cool movie. 5 stars
2/16/06 Reklc Not bad but I've seen better from Kitano (and the US actors are just overacting). 4 stars
6/20/05 K. Sear A decent film but again, not as good as hyped up to be. 4 stars
2/05/05 Graves Not bad but... Still was'nt as good as I thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
4/25/04 Justin333 I thought it was a great example of a gangster movie. 5 stars
12/13/03 Agent Sands (formerly Mr. Hat) Possibly Kitano's coolest movie. Great action scenes. 5 stars
11/21/03 rony i would have done the same to Epps, the plot was awesome but the american cast was lame. 5 stars
6/24/03 Pete B excellent film let down by some poor acting from the american cast members 5 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby Better than "Fireworks", but still uninvolving and badly paced. 2 stars
1/25/03 PJJ Pretty crappy 1 stars
1/21/03 Andy Bronson shit in comparison to his previous work but better than a lot of the typical hollywood shit 3 stars
3/05/02 Art Wright I was close to leaving during 1st scene w/Omar Epps,became impressed as the film developed 5 stars
2/07/02 Dan FitzGerald Only truly artistic criminal/gangster film I've seen in recent memory 5 stars
1/19/02 Rego Allegro A very bad US version of Sonatine - Can't believe it has been committed by the same guy 1 stars
1/07/02 The Bomb 69 script was all over the place, should have been better 3 stars
8/03/01 Mr. X Entertaining and intriguing but hamhanded effects and twists in parts. 4 stars
7/23/01 Simeon Briggs ZachF is a moron - i saw this movies ages ago and it rules, take some chopsticks Zach 5 stars
7/15/01 ZachF kitano is amusing, but the gang warfare is silly rather than menacing 2 stars
6/28/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* I can't belive this film has gotten so little attention. 5 stars
6/17/01 Michael Pretty damn good for a SIFF movie 5 stars
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  20-Jul-2001 (R)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2002


  15-Nov-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Takeshi Kitano

Written by
  Takeshi Kitano

  Takeshi Kitano
  Kuroudo Maki
  Omar Epps
  Masaya Kato
  Ren Osugi
  Susumu Terajima

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