Boiling Point | Chicago Reader

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The allegory in this 1990 yakuza thriller eludes me, but writer-director Takeshi Kitano's handling of tones, which range from the grimly depressive to the irreverently hilarious, is amazing. Also amazing is his performance in a wild set piece that immediately follows the introduction of the character he plays—a gangster whose loyalties are divided equally between his whims and his promises, resulting in lethally unpredictable behavior. He doesn't appear until late in the plot, which focuses on the experiences of a frustrated baseball player and gas station attendant whose connection with the mob leads to a bizarre night of karaoke, semiconsensual sex, mutilation, firearms dealing, and flower gathering. With Masahiko Ono. 96 min.

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