Notable Cast: Ken Kaneko, Masanobu Ando, Leo Morimoto, Hatsuo Yamaya
Kids Return is one of the few Kitano films I had left to see. It was very good, but is probably not enough of a stand-out from his more iconic filmography. It shouldn't be missed though, and hopefully that doesn't steer anyone away. I loved it, and I will see it again and again (as I have with most of his works). It's a pretty bleak movie, but has little bursts of humor to even things out. Plus, it's one of the better films about boxing I've seen; in fact, I'd say it's one of my favorite boxing films.
I really like the chemistry between the two lead actors and their friendships and where the story takes them throughout their young adult lives. Kitano's eye was spot on here; I really enjoyed the cinematography, and a lot of the camera movements were well crafted. I got the pleasure to see the recently restored Japanese Blu-Ray of this film, and it looks fantastic, so I must admit I am not sure of the quality of previously released versions of the film. It had this nice blue tint to the film without it being the amateurish blue filter look that plagues many a movie even to this day.
Little side note of a complaint (from not my own perspective, if that's possible). I think the relationship attempted to form with the woman in the restaurant that serves our leading guy doesn't quite go anywhere, and I could see that leaving people to desire more out of that element of the story, but I think it works. Sort of an interest that just dies, much like in life. Maybe this wasn't worth mentioning, but there... I did, so have at it.
Written By Josh Parmer