Director: Shion Sono
Cast: Akihiro Kitamura, Hitomi Katayama, Ryohei Suzuki, Riki Takeuchi
Genre: Drama Sci-Fi
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Japan 2014 116 mins.
'Tokyo Tribe', a yakuza gangster-street-gang-hip-hop wide screen musical blast based on the Manga by Santa Inoue, played out in a futuristic Tokyo slums where youth gangs rule.
In a futuristic, alternate-world Tokyo, the city is made up of ghetto slums and nightclub playgrounds where gangs of wayward youth rule the streets. The city is carved up into 'hoods, and the crossing of territorial lines quickly leads to riots and rumbles. On the turf ruled by the savage yakuza Big Buppa (Riki Takeuchi), the simmering tension is about to boil over into all-out war.
With Tokyo Tribe, Sono has crafted a cinematic melting pot of madness referencing everything from Walter Hill's The Warriors and Streets of Fire to Shûji Terayama's legendary experimental film Emperor Tomato Ketchup, John Carpenter's Escape from New York, Julien Temple's Sex Pistols documentaries, the final showdown from Scarface and, of course, West Side Story.
Avoiding the usual fresh young faces of Japanese films, Sono chose to cast real rappers, tattoo artists and stunt performers in many of the main acting roles, a rebellious move that brings vibrancy and freshness to his outlandish street-fighting epic. Set to a score of bangin' beats and bizarre rap lyrics, Tokyo Tribe will leave you beat-boxing for more.