Of all my years of being a filmmaker and moviegoer, I have seen many crime dramas that really gave people that harsh reality of crime and violence. Films like American Hustle and Se7en are among the few that stand out to me. There hasn’t been a crime film recently that has that high standard. But that was until I came across the film The Blood of Wolves at the Hawai’i International Film Festival. It was a joyride I felt I needed. The film directed Kazuya Shiraishi, it is about a rookie detective named Moritaka Ichinose who is partnered by veteran detective Shogo Ogami. They are both partnered together to help stop and on going crime war between two local Yakuza groups. Ichinose being the rookie that he is tries to follow things by the book, but his partner Ogami see’s things a little more vividly. With the use of violence and greed, Ogami was able to create great connections with the Yakuza. Ichinose struggles to come to terms with these terrible tactics. But he is willing to do what it take’s to put the Yakuza in jail and end this crime war. But how strong is his will? When will his radical partner destroy his righteousness as a officer of the law?
Before I watched this film I had many high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed with the result. Although there are some parts that I might find a little bad for my taste. But those parts were meant to make me feel uncomfortable since this is how far crime would go in real life. It kind of gave me a vibe that the film City of Gods had when I first watched it. It was raw and intense. The director didn’t hold back anything when addressing a commonly known and terrifying part of Japanese history. Which is why this film embodied the life of the Yakuza with every violent detail. If I were to rate this film out of 10, I would give it an 8.5. The film is amazing of course, but from the perspective of a filmmaker there can be some areas the director could fix with some scenes as well as the pacing of the film. But very well done.