Fudoh: The Next Generation | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Fudoh: The Next Generation

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Or "I Was a Teenage Yakuza." Japanese director Takashi Miike scored his first big American success with the erotic suspense film Audition (1999), but he already had 18 films to his credit in 1996, when he made this masterfully executed and hilariously hyperbolic gangland drama. Ten years after seeing his brother murdered by his yakuza father, the teenage Riki Fudoh (Shosuke Tanihara) mounts a secret war against the organized-crime families who ordered the killing, employing a pair of ten-year-old hit men and two gorgeous classmates. This was adapted from a graphic novel by Hitoshi Tanimura, which may explain the film's gratuitous violence (one gang member swallows coffee laced with acid and turns into a blood geyser), warped misogyny (when Riki's English teacher urges him to end the bloodshed, he slices down the front of her dress with a sword, leaving her unharmed but naked to the waist), and cascading weirdness (one of his classmates, who performs in a nightclub firing darts from her vagina, reveals herself to be a hermaphrodite before making love to the teacher). Juvenile as all this may sound, Miike's comic energy is hard to resist, and he's aided by Kenji Takano as a beefy and swaggering biker who kicks ass in all directions. 100 min. Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, December 20, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, December 23 through 26, 7:00 and 9:00; 773-281-4114.

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