Run Time: 127 minutes
Masato Harada boldly criticizes the racism, sexism, and fascism that permeates the power structures of contemporary Japan in this combination yakusa (gangland) thriller/road movie. KAMIKAZE TAXI tells of Matsuo, a hired gun who is promoted to be the personal provider of women to his boss. But, when Matsuo's own girlfeind becomes the target of a gang hit, he decides to rob the boss in revenge. A Brazillian/Japanese taxi driver helps Matsuo to flee after the robbery, but the yakuzi are on his trail. KAMIKAZE TAXI is alternately frantic and leisurely as Matsuo attempts to keep one step ahead of the gang and builds up a grudging admiration for his foreign companion. Violent in its implication but avoiding scenes of graphic physical brutality, it is also a funny and engaging film with a finale that successfully incorporates realism and a comic strip heroism to fine effect.
Kazuya Takahashi, Kohji Yakusho, Reiko Kataoka, Kenishi Yajima
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