Gonin (1995)

Rating: C

Dir: Takashi Ishii
Star: Koichi Sato, Masahiro Motoki, Jinpachi Nezu, Kippei Shiina

The obvious reference point here is Reservoir Dogs, as a bunch of low-lives pull off a heist, only to find out that maybe they shouldn’t have bothered. But this one falls more into the “strong and silent” school of film-making: the moral here appears to be, ‘no matter how bad things become, they can always get worse’. Specifically:

  • You’re in debt to the Yakuza, so you steal 100 million yen from them
  • They find out and set a hit-man on you
  • It’s Takeshi Kitano (complete with eye-patch, as a result of his near-fatal motorbike accident)

I don’t think it’s giving away very much to say that this is not what you’d call a feel-good movie. It is, in fact, pretty obvious where this will end up, from near the beginning. Still, the journey is entertaining if occasionally slow-paced, the scenery pretty, and you meet some interesting people on the way.