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Fudoh: The New Generation (1996)

DVD Cover (Tokyo Shock)
Genres:
Crime, Crime Thriller, Gangster Film
Director:
Takashi Miike Takashi Miike
Starring:
Sh˘suke Tanihara Sh˘suke Tanihara
Miho Nomoto Miho Nomoto
Tamaki Kenmochi Tamaki Kenmochi
Marie Jinno Marie Jinno
Kenji Takano Kenji Takano

7.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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In order to settle a business dispute, a mob leader murders one of his own teenage sons. The surviving son vows to avenge his brother's death, and organizes his own gang of teenage killers to destroy his father's organization. --TMDb
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Review by Ginose
Added: January 18, 2008
Gang movies are a dime-a-dozen. Let's face it, it's possibly the easiest form of action/drama you can make. It normally can sport terrible performances, half-assed dialogue and terribly written characters and STILL it will be praised as an accurate representation of the gang life. So, you can guess what kind of a relief it is when we get those ever so rare and odd to find movies that aren't about proving a point (although one could tug on it until there is one) and just focuses on being an entertaining and interesting movie.

After a messy business and assassination, a yakuza leader is forced to kill his eldest son (quite mercilessly, might I add), not realizing that the youngest witnessed the whole event. Soon after, Riki Fudoh (the youngest) begins his own life as a yakuza, creating a gang out of various youths that he's come to meet.

Starting his own brilliant strategy, he begins killing off the gangs' council members in an effort to shake the foundation of the syndicates. As it continues on, Riki begins to learn more and more of his father's dealings with other organizations; this puts him on edge, and forces him to learn more and more of these dealings.

I'd like to point out how completely vague and un-descriptive my "plot analysis" is. That's more or less, because I found this movie so interesting that it'd seem a rather large waste to give any real detail to anything that happens. It's all just too amazingly over-the-top that'd it be completely frivolous to describe it any further, it's really just something you have to see it for yourself.

I mean, can you honestly visualize all the blood in the human body being sprayed out though a man's pores? Or a teenage stripper firing darts out of her vagina? No. You can't. I bet you have an idea as what you can expect from this movie, but so did I. I was quickly proven wrong, though.

Miike's extreme use of violence and sex throughout his films could never be more masterfully done. I mean, these things viewed as so deranged and perverse in modern society are done in almost a tasteful fashion in his work, "Fudoh: The New Generation" is one of the finer examples of this.

Breaking the taboos of violence in our youth is never a comfortable feat for a director; normally they'll go so far as to show nothing but negative consequences for such things. Not here, though. No punches are pulled and there's just a solid wall of reality to look at: violence may not be justified, but the things it does for wicked people are undeniable.

Some may view this as a normal thing for gang movies. I won't argue this, as it's true; films such as "The Godfather" and "Dog Day Afternoon" support this idea, justly. However, even in such strongly held gang movies as these, violence is seen with its own consequences, for one reason or another, you really couldn't find that in "Fudoh". I mean, truthfully its hard to recognize good from evil in it, but I was just fine with that. It's good to have a truly ruthless protagonist once in a while.

Even though you could view its extremist violence against children and teenagers as some kind of social statement (as I seemed to have... damn my awkward ability to over-analyze shit), I think it's especially important that I remind everyone that this was based on a manga. It's over the top and unbelievable for a reason, you know. I mean, have I read the source material? No, as much as I'd like too, I haven't. But it sounds like a fairly entertaining piece of work. I mean, Miike's known for adding his own twists to the source, but he never seems to disappoint fans of the original works. He's done several movies based on Japanese comics, all of which received amazing acclaim (and this was well-deserved, mind you) and were often compared to the original works with great admiration.

The movie itself looks absolutely splendid; all of the gore and violence is well rounded and very well-done. Gun-shots, decapitations... vagina-darts... every work and action seemed almost realistic, in the very grim way it's all carried out. I approve of grim, realistic violence in a gang movie. One of those things that makes it more distinct from the multiple bore-fest I mentioned in the opening.

Acting is really a 50/50 shot here. Miike doesn't normally use well-known actors; this is very evident in his earlier work, so it goes without saying that you can really tell who has experience and who doesn't. This was the first feature-film appearance of Shosuke Tanihara (Riki Fudoh in the film) and, I certainly couldn't tell. Maybe it was just the direction, but he carried almost every scene he was in, he dominated the screen, which amazed me, given he was such a fresh actor at the time. As little as we saw of him, Riki Takeuchi really managed to steal my attention (as he does in most of his movies), not necessarily for his characters plot relevance, just because he's such a fun actor to watch on screen, always displaying a huge rainbow of emotions on his face (which he was unable to show us here), he is infinitely one of my favorite Japanese actors working today. Kenji Takano was hilarious as Aizone, I don't think they could have picked anyone better for such a character (and not just for the physique either), he was just perfect in delivery of both blows and dialogue.

I really got nothing but enjoyment out of this movie. There are amazing twist that are both hilarious and disturbing, fantastic violence and great acting. This should be the standard of your average gang movie. 8.7/10

PS: This movie was amazing. Avoid the sequels like the goddamn plague.
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grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 01/19/2008, 05:32 PM
dude, so glad you reviewed this
9/10
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 01/20/2008, 01:28 AM
As am I. I meant to get it on this site much MUCH sooner... but then I got employed once again. That fucking job is pretty much the only thing that hinders me turning in 3 or 4 reviews a week rather than 1 every three or four weeks. Ah well... "Deadly Outlaw: Reeka" will be up soon enough.
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