Posted: 04/23/2004

 

Blood

(2001)

by Del Harvey



This DVD is available for purchase at HKFlix.com.


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Back in school, Masayuki (Noboru Takachi) and Takuya (Riki Takeuchi) were best friends, and both were in love with the beautiful Yuki (Mai Oikawa). However, time has a way of changing things, and when Yuki is raped, the two friends seek revenge upon her attackers. When the cops arrive on the scene, Takuya takes the full blame and protects his friends, going to jail for a very long time and ensuring that both men live very different lives. Many years later, Masayuki is a successful doctor married to Yuki. One of his patients is a Yakuza boss with terminal cancer. Now out of prison and rising to the top of the heap in the only line of work he can find, Takuya is a hired killer. His target is Masayuki’s patient, the sickly Yakuza boss, who has betrayed him. Ironically, his old friend Masayuki saves Takuya’s life, then helps him to elude the police. His deep guilt for having let his old friend take all the blame is textbook stuff, and soon he is trying to take his friend’s place as a killer. When the boss comes after them a showdown is inevitable.

Directed by Kosuke Suzuki, Blood is typically overdramatic in the way only Japanese tragedies can be. Takeuchi is one of the most heavy-handed actors I’ve ever seen, and he can be either a powerful character in a film, or he can easily dominate his own role and overshadow everyone else in the process. In Blood, we are treated to a situation of Shakespearean proportions, with Takeuchi as the inevitably reluctant hero.

Blood is a dark film but a real treat for Takeuchi fans.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, and teaches screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago.



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