Kuroiwa (Tetsuya Watari) is a no-nonsense violent cop that acts
especially tough towards the yakuza - but then he notices certain
irregularities within the police, as the cops want to take down the
Nishida gang while leaving the larger Yamashiro gang who wants to muscle
in on their territory, virtually untouched. On the other hand, there's
Keiko (Meiko Kaji), wife of Nishida's imprisoned leader, whom he
eventually falls in love with - even though he eventually finds out she's
a heroin-addicted half-Korean ex-whore -, and straight-talking Iwata,
Nishida's acting leader, whom Kuroiwa becomes best friends and even
bloodbrother with after a few brawls.
However, Kuroiwa's superiors in
the police do not like it one bit that he gets so awfully friendly with
the Nishida gang and actually wants to go after the Yamashiro gang - and
thus, Kuroiwa is eventually suspended.
Eventually, all-out-war breaks
out between Nishida and Yamashiro, but the police does nothing to
intervene so to least get into the way of the Yamashiro gang.
gravely injured in a fight, but Iwata gets him to a safe place. Now both
the police and Yamashiro are after Iwata, and it isn't long before they
figure Kuroiwa has hidden him - and Yamashiro gets its hands on Kuroiwa
first ... Kuroiwa is drugged, and Iwata's location is forced out of him
bagainst his will. Then Iwata is brutally killed.
Nishida believes Kuroiwa has betrayed Iwata, which is of course
technically true but only half the truth. Kuroiwa could live with
rejection from Nishida, but he wants to prove to Keiko that he is not a
traitor, so he goes into the police station the next day and shoots the
chief of police and the politician who has established ties between the
police force and Yamashiro in the first place. Of course, though, Kuroiwa
does not survive this himself, either ...
One of Kinji
Fukaswaku's less brilliant yakuza films from the 1970's, this is still
interesting inasmuch as Fukasaku's distrust of authorities (namely the
police), a recurring motive in all his gangster films , is driven to new
extremes here when a policeman finds his own police force so corrupt that
he rather sides with the yakuza then pretend to be a law enforcer. All
this makes of course for an ok story, and Fukasaku certainly knows how to
keep things going at a steady pace, but the greatness of his yakuza
classics is somewhat amiss here.