“Hana-Bi” finds a police detective trying to figure out how to make the world right. His wife is dying and his partner has been critically wounded in battle with the local gangs. Now, our hero decides to rob a bank to pay off his debt to the Yakuza. Still with me? Well, the robbery money was to cover the loan that was paying for his wife’s medical treatment. But, she’s terminal and their kid just died. It gets better.

Now, our detective realizes that he’s got nothing left to lose in life. So, he decides to even up the fight with the Yakuza and start doing things his way. When I first saw the film, it reminded of Bergman trying to make a Death Wish clone. But, this tale of revenge is anchored to slow shots and and a constant desire to find meaning in life. But, what do you do when everything is as meaningless as fireworks? A bright brief distraction that only entertains for a short amount of time?

If you’re Beat Takeshi, you fight the Yakuza. James L. Brooks should’ve had this much commitment when making Terms of Endearment.


  • Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Essay


  • 1.85:1 1080p transfer
  • LPCM 2.0


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