[Blu-ray Review] Arrow Video's 'Detective Bureau 2-3: Go To Hell Bastards!'

Director, Seijun Suzaki, kicks this classic action film off with an exchange of gunfire aplenty between gangsters. Credits roll over a flaming car. Tarantino-esc, or rather Suzaki-esc. A strong and straight forward introduction.

We meet our polished hero right away. The dapper, Private Detective Tajima. After some textbook chest-puffing with the local police chief, Manabe, Tajima is on the case. It should be noted that while the puffing of chests take place-20 questionable looking men from two different clans, the Sakura and Otsuki (both Yakuza) casually sit outside the police station with guns, waiting to intimidate the police chief. Whom they think is in cahoots with whoever continues to rob them. Manabe explains he can't take their guns because they have hunting licenses. Chests deflate and Tajima is now working with Manabe. However, no one can know Tajima is working with the police. And if caught digging around where he shouldn't he'll likely be arrested.

Now undercover, Tajima is thrust into the underworld of crime. Girls, gambling, and booze. With the help of his Detective Agency, Tajima, looks to find out, not only who is doing the robberies, but as much as the Yakuza that he can. But not without leaving a body count behind that would make Rambo IV proud. All this while managing to fit in TWO colorful and humorous dance numbers. Think The Andrew Sisters in any Abbott and Costello movie. You had to have those back then to offset the violence. In some sense, I wish we still did that occasionally.

The restoration by Arrow Video was absolutely remarkable. The colors exquisite. Production designer Takeharu Sakaguchi would be blown away. The sound superb. Takinosuke Yagi would be shocked at just crisp the sound was 55 years later.

Detective Agency 2-3: Go To Hell Bastards! plays like a loud and reckless comic book. For a movie that was released in '63, the amount of lead sprayed alone is something to be admired. I highly recommend for those appreciative of the genre.


Starring original Diamond Guy, Jo Shishido, Seijun Suzuki's Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! is a hard hitting, rapid-fire yakuza film that redefined the Japanese crime drama.

Detective Tajima (Shishido) is tasked with tracking down a consignment of stolen firearms, as the investigation progresses things take an anarchic, blood-drenched grudge match.

Rapidly paced, darkly funny, and extremely stylish, Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! is unlike anything seen before and rightly deserves its cult status. Suzuki's send up of post-war greed would go on to cement his domestic and international status as one of the leading directors to come out of Japan.


• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation

• DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

• Newly translated optional English subtitles

• Interview with historian and Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns

• Gallery of original production stills

• Theatrical trailer

• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin


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