Koji Yakusho, Tori Matsuzaka, Yoko Maki, Yosuke Eguchi
“What you’re doing is insane, Ogami! Police officers are supposed to uphold justice!” “You wanna hear my idea of justice...? I ain’t got one.” 1988, Hiroshima. The Anti-Organized Crime Law has yet to be passed. Rookie policeman Shuichi Hioka is assigned to a precinct where he is partnered with Shogo Ogami, a detective rumored to be in cahoots with the mob. They investigate the disappearance of a finance company employee, but Ogami’s erratic methods disturb Hioka. Meanwhile, the missing person case acts as a catalyst for conflict between rival gangs to intensify...
“This story wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for ‘Battles Without Honor and Humanity.’ It’s a world that women can’t enter even if they try, which is the very reason why it impressed me, and appealed to me.” So says Yuko Yuzuki, author of the novel “Korou no Chi / The Blood of Wolves.”
This astonishing work of fiction, which revolves around the actions of a police detective named Ogami, has been described as a cross between a police novel and the “Battles Without Honor and Humanity” yakuza film saga. Now it has been adapted for the big screen by studio Toei, which has produced countless classic outlaw movies. It depicts men, members of police and criminal organizations, who traverse the boundaries between trust and betrayal, violence and desire, and justice and atrocity. In their harsh and brutal realm of existence, pride means everything.
The striking catharsis and violence delivered by these men, which is little seen in modern-day Japanese entertainment due to the highly restrictive nature of domestic free-to-air television and the current family-centric film environment, will have a profound emotional impact on audiences. To make a film about the wild way of life of outlaws in the Showa period (which ended in 1989 with the death of Emperor Hirohito) in the current Heisei era is in itself an ambitious act, as well as a challenge to Japan’s film industry, and modern society itself.
Ogami, the story’s protagonist, is played by Koji Yakusho, one of Japan’s biggest stars and most accomplished actors. He brings his inimitable dignity to the role of a seemingly crooked cop, portraying him with riveting intensity and boundless energy.
Hioka, a young detective caught between his firm respect for the law and his own sense of justice, is embodied by Tori Matsuzaka. In addition, the story’s cavalcade of unforgettable supporting characters is brought to life by a lavish cast of other powerful performers, including Yoko Maki, Kenichi Takito, Tomorowo Taguchi, Renji Ishibashi, and Yosuke Eguchi.
In the director’s chair is Kazuya Shiraishi, one of Japanese cinema’s new leading lights. Other esteemed names behind the camera include screenwriter Junya Ikegami, composer Goro Yasukawa, cinematographer Takahiro Haibara, lighting technician Minoru Kawai, sound recordist Kazuharu Urata, and production designer Tsutomu Imamura.
With its intricately interwoven plot lines and mysteries, as well as gripping realism and nimble pacing that will leave you breathless until the last frame, this hugely entertaining masterwork will unleash a maelstrom of violence, fury, and madness once more on the silver screen.
Get ready to witness a new milestone in the history of Japanese cinema, coming in spring of 2018.