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Brother (2002) *spoilers*


#1

Another master piece by Takeshi Kitano San.



This movie is mainly set in LA, but has roots in Japan when they are describing Aniki’s (Takeshi Kitano) character who is an ex-Yakuza gangster who has exiled to USA for safety.



The film starts off in a random airport with Aiki just chilling outside the airport waiting on a taxi. The film is quite fast pitched and you always still find the next part of the story will not be known.



The first scene where you see Denny (Omar Epps) is when he is walking down the street and he bumps into Aniki. Aniki breaks Denny’s wine bottle, which is then followed by Denny loud mouthing Aniki. Since Aniki is a bad boy he picks up the broken bottle and stabs Denny in the eye.



After that Aniki walks up to what seems like an abandoned warehouse, where the first flash back stars. They go back to his times in Japan and show his gangster lifestyle. I wont go into this too deep because there’s a lot I’ll miss out due to it being quite a dense part of the film.



After that, the film really start, you see why he is in America and who he is there to see, its a SICKENING character development story where I haven’t seen it matched before in ANY film of Kitano San, let alone in any film I’ve seen before.



Son duke is MAD though, the way he just kills people is amazing, the way they chop enemies pinky fingers off with knives is just:(. A few parts I like in this film which stood out are when he punched a dude in the belly so hard he bled from his mouth. One where a dude got 2 chopsticks forced up his nose, and another one where when they were showing shots from Japan a Yakuza member was questioned on his loyalty. He replied to the question by saying " You want to see what’s inside my guts". Which led to dude cutting open his own stomach, which then led to the Yakuza boss making the person who asked the question to cut off his pinky finger for disturbing the dinner where they were at.



Kitano San wrote and directed this film, which is amazing due to his inability to talk in English, but I assume he has English dialect helpers with him to help on the script. The style of the film is really non-American/Hollywood, and he uses odd exerts of comedy or just weird shots which include the camera being at a 80 degree angle; but this defiantly adds to the film in a positive way. The excellent thing I LOVE about this film is that it didn’t follow any typical clichés, like coming up from nothing to be a big boss, or the typical woman who makes him turn around his gangster life or any of that dumb bullshit we see in movies nowadays.



Overall this film is ace, I recommend this film to any one who likes a more mature, different, abstract and Asian influenced gangster movie. I voted this at a 9 on IMDB. Go watch


#2

yeah I also liked this film. I own the DVD and I think I’m gonna rewatch it soon. A very cool film


#3

You have to excuse some of the terms I use in this and some other reviews of movies, mainly because I used old ones I wrote for another hip-hop site :slight_smile:


#4

I can’t think of anyone that can outcool Kitano.

I like the humour of Brother a lot. The gambling tricks are hilirious and give a good description about the character of Kitano.

I prefer Sonatine, because it is more poetic and closer on a human level. Most of the sceneries are just paintings in sonatine.

It feels like Brother has to many consessions to american filmmaking and isn’t that abstract, but more straightforward. Great nonetheless.


#5

I felt it really boring.

I know some early Kitano stuff [ Violent Cop, Sonatine ] and thats basically the same. Just with Afroamerican.

Gave up after 65% or so.


#6

It is an excellent film and i liked it very much.



But i have seen alot of Kitano and most of his other stuff is better. I dont mean that Brother is bad, but his other stuff is just too good. I consider this a good film on its own, but if i was asked i would recommend alot of his other films over this one.



I’d give it an 8/10


#7

I also didn’t like “Brother”. But I can see what other people find in those kind of movies, it’s more about the nihilistic athmosphere than about characters or storyline. But for me it’s really hard to appreciate these super-cold Yakuza-Flicks. They are not boring, but they always tend to be a bit tedious, a lot of talking, the action comes in short-outbursts of harsh and realistic violence, it’s not exactly my type of entertainment.



Triads are a lot cooler in my book! 8) If you give me Yakuzas at all, then the psychedelic, over-the-top-kind, like in “Kill Bill” or “Sex and Fury”.



For me, Takeshi Kitano is not a movie-god. But I do respect him as an actor, he has got a lot of charisma, and whenever he’s on screen, he radiates such a larger-than-life presence, that everyone around him is kinda fading. I don’t like his Yakuza-Movies, but I liked “Dolls” very much, and his interpretation of “Zatoichi” as well.


#8

[quote=“Takabe”]
I can’t believe all the hate that this one received by Kitano fans, which I think was mostly just because it was a film set in America and had black gangsters in it. Some of the dialogue was so-so and the acting cheesy, but I thought Brother was a great film.
[/quote]

I’d seriously rather watch Hana-bi or Sonatine, though I definitely think that Brother is a good film. But if someone asked me to recommend a Kitano film it would be Sonatine (or maybe Zatoichi if i thought that they wouldn’t really understand it).

[quote=“diceman”]
but I liked “Dolls” very much
[/quote]

Dolls is my favourite Kitano film. I really cannot explain why. I don’t know whether i consider it his best, yet i do consider it my favourite of his. It was just a beautiful film.


#9

My problems isn’t the casting with black guys. Think, Omar Epps is a quite good actor and the chemistry between him and Kitano was fine too.

But I’ve seen the scenes before, just with japanese actors. There were only standard situations in it, it became boring. Thats all.


#10

I finally completed my Kitano collection with Brother and watched the dvd today (I had seen it before though). I was hoping the film was better than I remembered, it unfortunately it wasn’t. Not a bad film by any means, but definitely the weakest of the 12 movies Kitano has directed. The main problem is that there’s no such magic here that is present in all other Kitano film. Brother isn’t the kind of beautiful character drama A Scene at the Sea was, nor is it the kind of ingenious yukuza film Sonatine was. It’s just “normal” a yakuza film. The only thing that really sets Brother apart from Kitano’s previous work is the level of violence. Brother is the most violent Kitano movie yet, and actually one of the most violent action/crime movies I have ever seen.



Stylistically Brother is pretty close to Violent Cop. However, it’s missing some of the nihilism and grittiness that Violent Cop had. It’s hard to explain because basically Brother has all the same elements, but somehow it (Brother) feels more polished. That’s why I prefer Violent Cop. But like I said, Brother isn’t a bad film. It’s an enjoyable movie with typical Kitano coolness and a nice soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi (even though it’s the worst soundtrack he ever recorded to a Kitano film). Like Contrai said, the film repeats Kitano’s old tricks so it may work better to those who haven’t seen too many Kitanos yet.



6/10


#11

i love this movie… i think it was my introduction to the world of kitano and it kinda sums up was his yakuza-movies were about… but i can see why people who were into kitano’s work before this movie don’t dig it: too many similarities to his other work… but still: hana-bi, brother, dolls are my favorites…


#12

yeah, it’s a cool movie



the only kitano movie i’ve seen, btw


#13

There are only two Kitano movies that I would rate below Brother, and those are “Getting Any?” and Zatoichi.



Brother was good, but nowhere near as awesome for me as Sonatine, Kikujiro no natsu and Hana-Bi.