IMDb rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%
If you’ve been hankering for a smart, stylish crime thriller since The Wire left our screens over a decade ago, put Giri/Haji on your list.
You’ll get your first shock a few minutes into the first episode of the Anglo-Japanese thriller, and while you’ll marvel at how beautifully it’s shot and how cleverly it’s edited, you’ll also realise almost immediately that it doesn’t shy away from the brutality and violence that the Yakuza families of Tokyo leave in their wake as they embark on a bloody series of revenge killings.
It’s up to Detective Mori to stop the war before it can tear Tokyo apart, and his missing brother holds the key. Presumed dead at the hands of the Yakuza a year before, after a heist went terribly wrong, Mori’s brother has left an indelible trace of himself in the back of a London businessman, who happens to be the nephew of one of the Yakuza bosses.
Mori heads to London to find his brother before it’s too late. But if his brother doesn’t want to be found, what chance does Mori have?
The Telegraph says Giri/Haji is “impressionistic, playful and unashamedly arty, using animé sequences, chiaroscuro flashbacks, slow-motion, split-screen and stretched aspect ratio. The multi-stranded, pan-global plotting and Tarantino-esque stylistic flourishes [reward] close attention”, and concludes, “This bold, bewitching and slightly bonkers eight-parter could be something truly special.”