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VIOLENT COP

Japan, 1989 (MIFF 1992, Spotlight Takeshi)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi makes his directorial debut in what on the surface at least is a standard 'rene­gade cop' genre film. Takeshi plays Detective Azuma, the department's 'wild-card' whose unorthodox methods, while successful, distress his superiors. Azuma's colleague is murdered and it evolves that he has been selling drugs confiscated by the police. Nothing is done (about the murder or the colleague's activities), so Azuma goes straight to the top, to the insidi­ous ring-leaders of organized crime.

Unlike previous rogue cop incarnates, most notably Eastwood's Dirty Harry (to which this film has been frequently compared), Azuma is a lumbering and laconic slob. Takeshi plays it all straight as an arrow; his deadpan grimaces and brooding silences are as threatening and ominous as they are bleakly comic and droll.

The direction — leisurely long-takes and deep focus shots, a preference for mise-en-scene than the effects of editing and montage — per­fectly complements the lean and mean perfor­mance. Refreshingly free of the grand-standing of most American action films, but with plenty of high-velocity thrills and spills along the way, the spirit of the film certainly lives up to its original Japanese title, which roughly trans­lates as "Watch out! This man is wild."

See also...

BOILING POINT

... ... In Japan, Takeshi Kitano currently advertises a product called 'Jolt Cola'. Aside from his endorsement, the selling point is that it boasts twice the caffeine of regular colas. For once, star ... More »

A SCENE AT THE SEA

... ... The expectations set by Takeshi's previous two films were purposefully undone when he moved past American action films and com­pletely wrote out of the script his own distinc­tive ... More »

KIDS RETURN

Alternating between humour and irony, Takeshi Kitano's hard edged look at disaffect­ed youth follows the life of two high school fail­ures, Shinji and Masaru, and their fate in the unyielding ... More »

HANA-BI (FIREWORKS)

Police detective Nishi (Takeshi) ditches stakeout duty with his partner and best friend Horibe to visit his wife in hospital. During the visit he is informed that his wife's condition is incurable ... More »

TAKESHIS'

Legendary Japanese director, actor and hardman, Kitano ‘Beat' Takeshi, puts the ‘gang' back into ‘doppelganger' with this hyper-real violation of the traditional rules of film form and ... More »

A SCENE AT THE SEA

Fans of Takeshi's two films prior to this (Violent Cop and Boiling Point) must have had their expectations confounded! After his relentless explorations of renegade cops and pitiless Yakuza, to come ... More »

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