Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama


Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) Poster

During the violent chaos of post-War Japanese black market, a young gangster called Shozo Hirono has to keep up with the rapid shifts of power between unscrupulous bosses.


7.5/10
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14 August 2015 | Leofwine_draca
6
| And now for something completely different...
Although it has certain stylistic similarities with other movies (the extreme violence of the LONE WOLF & CUB films and the gangster shenanigans of THE GODFATHER and its ilk), BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY is very much a unique and almost surreal slice of Japanese yakuza madness.

The story is told in a choppy style and takes place over a number of years. It sees various criminal gangs emerging in post-war Japan, engaging in various rivalries with one another as various gangster bosses strive to outdo their rivals. Into this messy mix are thrown various larger-than-life characters, foremost of whom is Hirono Shozo, played with emotional relish by Bunta Sugawara.

The first half of the film is largely confusing with a large cast of similar characters all battling one another and indeed I wondered what I was watching at some points. However, it all distills down and becomes much more focused in the second half, which follows the members of a single crime family in their bid for leadership. There's little action here, but Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLE ROYALE) directs with stylish aplomb, making this a more than memorable gangster epic.

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Genres

Crime | Drama

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