Takashi Miike – Gokudô kuroshakai AKA Rainy Dog (1997)

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“The quietest and, in some ways, most impressive film of the trilogy tells the story of Yuji, an exiled Yakuza, now living in Taiwan. In one of the film’s many similarities to Luc Besson’s Leon, Yuji is left with a young boy, supposedly his son, when an ex-girlfriend dumps the child on him without explanation. Yuji does not let the child’s presence disrupt his violent lifestyle and he continues killing rival gang members for a local crime lord. When a hit leaves Yuji with a suitcase full of Triad money, he tries to escape Tiawan. However, when you are a stranger in a strange land and cannot trust anybody, escape and survival is almost impossible.

Rainy Dog, the middle film in Miike’s Black Society Trilogy cements the themes introduced in the first film that will reach their conclusion in the third. The only film in the trilogy not to be filmed in Japan (Rainy Dog is filmed in Taiwan with a mainly Taiwanese cast and crew), Miike pushes the idea of the existential antihero to the extreme. Yuji is far from a likeable chap. Typically for Miike, however, the lines that delineate good from bad are blurred almost beyond recognition, making Yuji an evil, but also desperate and sympathetic character. It is Miike’s gift for characterisation that really shines through in Rainy Dog. With minimal dialogue, he creates a character that is three dimensional and totally believable. Miike and writer Seigo Inoue may have taken inspiration from Besson’s slick but empty parable, but Miike’s dystopian outlook, coupled with a strong sense of isolation and dread make Rainy Dog a stronger, more realistic and visceral experience than anything Besson has put to film.” (highangle.co.uk)

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Language:Japanese dual audio with English commentary
Subtitles:English sub/idx
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