First Love
Japan, GB 2019
108 min

The prolific Japanese filmmaker (more than a hundred films) keeps finding new and exciting ways to create great action scenes and equally wild stories to go with them. And HATSUKOI is a superb example of his apparently infinite reserves to do precisely that. This is a classic yakuza war story, albeit told from the point of view of two people – Leo, a young boxer, and a prostitute known as “Monica” – who find themselves in the middle of chaos through an intricate, complex, and absurd set of circumstances. For them, there’s no other choice than to escape and sometimes to face the violence that surrounds them, finding an unexpected personal connection through the ordeal. But the main attraction here is the staging of the fights and the action scenes. And they are wonderful to watch in a film that starts off as a serious thriller and slowly becomes funnier and crazier. A long battle and a series of car chases are the centerpiece of the last part of the film. But instead of boring us with the same repetitive CGI action mess we see in most of the superhero or big Hollywood movies, it becomes a wild and exhilarating expression of pure cinema, Miike-style. (Diego Lerer)

  • Becky - Julie
  • Sakurako Konishi - Monica
  • Masataka Kubota - Leo
  • Jun Murakami - Ichikawa
  • Masa Nakamura
  • Nobuyasu Kita
  • Jun Nakamura
  • Akira Kamiya
  • Koji Endo
  • Takeshi Shimizu
OLM, Recorded Picture Company


EuroVideo Medien
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