Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Gangster

Saw this Thai gangster flick called -- wait for it -- The Gangster (2012). Actually there are a bunch of gangsters in it, but the main character is a super-tough guy named Jod (Krisada Sukosol Clapp). All of the gangsters portrayed were real guys, and the film is intercut with old farts who knew them reflecting on their hijinks.

Actually, "hijinks" is way too light a word for the kinda shit these guys get up to. This is one of the more violent films you're likely to see any time soon. It starts out in the early 60s, when it was just knives and clubs and Elvis hair (these guys had a serious hard-on for Elvis) and runs into what looks to be the early 70s, by which time it was all long hair and guns … lots of guns.

Violence doesn't just explode in The Gangster, it erupts! And, of course there are the usual turf wars and rivalries within gangs leading to treachery. The ending is a bloody barn-burner. I don't want to be Mr. Spoiler, so I'll just say it plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy, if you get my meaning. OK, so I spoiled it for the English majors, but the rest of you nudnicks are in for a shock.

I didn't know what to expect with The Gangster. I'd never heard of it; Netflix assigned it to me. But I'm really glad I saw it, and I encourage those who like Asian cinema and gangster films to give it a go.

2 comments: said...

Nice review as always, but I am not here to praise your reviews today, but to draw your attention to sad news. Did you knew that great actor Isao Natsuyagi has died a couple of weeks ago? He succumbed to cancer at age 72! He was a wonderful actor and I loved his performances in "The Wolves" and expecially "Eleven Samurai". Since you were also a fan of his work - you always praised his acting in your books, if I remember correctly - I thought this information could be of some interest for you (if you didn`t knew it already).

Patrick Galloway said...

Thanks for the news. Isao Natsuyagi, one of the greats, who was effective in any genre, from samurai to exploitation -- he will be missed.