When it comes to ruthlessness, the yakuzas in Takeshi Kitano's slick bloodbath make the Corleones look like the Brady Bunch. At least they had a code of loyalty in The Godfather; here it's just a bother. So when "the Chairman" tells his vassal Ikemoto to draw into conflict a rival clan chieftain with whom Ikemoto has taken an oath of brotherhood, Ikemoto sighs, bows, and sets his henchman Otomo (Kitano) out to do "the dirty work" of treachery. That includes face slashing, finger severing, and the most imaginative use of dental equipment since Marathon Man. The violence spreads, a blood-spattered fugue orchestrated by the Chairman, who watches with delight as his minions destroy each other for his gain. Meanwhile, the incomparable mug of Kitano's Otomo regards it all with the infinite disdain of an Easter Island monolith. A masterpiece of denied expectations — every act of vengeance happens too late to satisfy but just in time to spark more.