En route, Aizawa accidentally prevents a knife-wielding yakuza, Takeda (Shinichi Tsutsumi), from achieving a flashy suicide after failing to protect his boss. Majorly pissed, Takeda starts running after Aizawa.
As night falls and the trio keep running, they fall prey to various fantasies and forget the original reasons for the chase. Now a trio bound by a common exhilaration, they finally chance on a roomful of warring yakuza, who speak entirely in American gangster cliches.
The lunatic idea of three losers united (and transfigured) by the endorphin rush from physical exertion, on a trip to nowhere, is never allowed to cloy, thanks to plenty of visual jokes (the trio grabbing beverages on their way, like long-distance runners) and the slightly woozy, almost drug-induced tone that suffuses the movie. At Berlin fest screenings, Sabu noted his admiration for Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarantino, but beyond its last-stand tone and surface gunplay the movie is rooted more in the Japanese subgenre of existential yakuza pics, here given a witty spin.
Playing is, well, strenuous, and tech credits all fine; film’s Japanese title means “bullet runner.” Sabu has already completed his second movie, “Postman Blues,” about a mail carrier who continues doing his job after an apocalypse.