In Japan, the sworn brotherhood of the Yakuza is described as being "thicker than the blood of kindred brothers". With his life under threat, disgraced Yakuza hard man Yamamoto escapes to Los Angeles in search of his half-brother Ken, a small-time drug dealer. Unable to speak the language and confused by his surrounding, Yamamoto teams up with Ken and his friend and fellow gang-member Denny. Soon Yamamoto finds himself back in the old routine. His ruthless efficiency in terrorising and killing rival gang members shocks even the blood hardened Americans, and before long Yamamoto’s gang is strong enough to join forces with a rival Japanese crime lord called Shirase. The gang is now too big to be ignored, and they are quickly warned off by the Mafia. Yamamoto realises that there can be no turning back and as events draw towards their inevitable conclusion, the Yakuza learns that only Denny understands the ancient code of the "brotherhood".
A stunning mix of emotion and violence.
- Brother review by CP Customer
Brother revolves around the character of Aniki Yamamoto, a Tokyo gangster who after his Yakuza clan is wiped out in a mob war flees from Japan to Los Angeles where he has a younger brother who scrapes a living as a small time drug dealer. Reunited with his brother they begin to eliminate their rivals, and thanks to Aniki's nerve and foresight they soon become a powerful clan that controls several city areas. However, on their quest to gain more power they eventually meet their match and things soon descend into a downward spiral of violence. I've been slowly working my way through Takeshi Kitano's back catalogue, and I have to say he has to be one of the most consistent writer-directors around. He's an absolute master at mixing images of beauty and peace with those of extreme violence, and also managing to add his own sense of pathos and wry humour into the mix, and 'Brother' is no exception. If you've not yet experienced the magic of a Takeshi Kitano film then 'Brother' is a great place to start, and proves once again that Kitano is one of the most talented and distinctive filmmakers around. If you enjoy this then check out Kitano's excellent emotional drama 'Hana-Bi' and the ultra-violent samurai tale 'Zatoichi'.