Helpless (1996)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama, Gangster Film  |   Countries - Japan  |  
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Gen-X auteur Shinji Aoyama directs this brooding gangster flick about alienation, sudden violence, and high school classmates. The film opens with mobster Yasuo (Ken Mitsuishi) getting out of jail only to learn that his gang's don is dead, and that his own future is in doubt. Seething from the bad news, he sees his old high school friend Kenji (played by hipster heartthrob Tadanobu Asano). Along with Yasuo's mobster cohorts -- a young thug and nattily dressed yakuza with a Gorbachov style birthmark who greeted Yasuo at the prison gates -- they break bread at a family restaurant. When yakuza makes an off-colored remark about Yasuo's boss, he ices him on the spot. Later, Kenji pays a visit to his profoundly depressed father at the hospital. Afterwards, he goes to Yasuo's mountain cabin where the gangster is busy burying the body. There Kenji meets Yasuo's kid sister, Yuki (Kaori Tsuji). When Yasuo takes off in search of his boss' killer, Kenji zips off in the other direction with Yuki in tow. Once in town, Kenji learns that his father hung himself. At about the same time, another one of Kenji's former high school classmates, Akihito (Yoichiro Saito), surprises him with a Polaroid camera. Kenji violently snaps.




gangster, mob-boss, father, sister, suicide


High Artistic Quality