12 January 2002 | sharptongue
Enjoyable load of cliches
The great Bunta Sugawara made dozens of gangster movies of this type in the 60s and early 70s. They were utterly lacking in originality but watchable and competent nevertheless. The plots, such as this one, are joined together with cliches and stock characters and things are pretty predictable.
The odd-looking and gangly Bunta, as always, makes it worthwhile, assisted with the usual impressive roster of top-class actors in supporting and cameo parts. This time, Bunta's character is a strutting wisecracking lowlife.
There are a few very good scenes. For instance, the nightclub brawl scene. Sumiko is a long-suffering bargirl whose gambler boyfriend is always sponging off her. Disgusted with her man one night, she encourages Bunta's character to dance with her which, of course, make the boyfriend jealous. What follows is a drunken brawl, but a controlled one. The men take turns at punching each other, with quite a long gap between each. The result is very funny. And, to cap it off, this is the beginning of their close friendship, upon which the rest of the story turns.
Any fans of the Lone Wolf and Cub series might be surprised to see the star of that series in a cameo here. He looks quite different from the scowl-faced and scruffy swordsman !
If you've not seen any of these ubiquitous gangster flicks, this one is as good a place as any to start. If you've seen a few, then you know what to expect !