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Tokyo Tribe

Over-the-top hip-hop rap musical featuring colorful Japanese gangs

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This new film from Sion Sono (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?) is an exuberant tale of highly stylized Tokyo street gangs who engage in battles with each other and with a cannibalistic gangster, who is in hock to a god. As told almost exclusively through profane rap songs. It’s an overly long hot mess that dares you to stop watching: virtually no plot; confusing characters; sexual vulgarity; and, perhaps most critical for a “hip-hopera,” a slew of actors who can’t rap very well. But the actors give it their all, and a lot of costume- and set-designers made out like bandits on this project. Plus it’s so garish, over-the-top and openly derisive of its own wannabe-cultish bad self that you gotta stick it out.


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