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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 »

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 »

OUTRAGE BEYOND

"Takeshi Kitano's best film in a decade." – Cinema Scope ... Picking up where Outrage (MIFF 2010) left off, Outrage Beyond opens with rifts beginning to form in the Sanna yakuza family ... More »

SONATINE

In Sonatine writer/director/editor/star 'Beat' Takeshi consolidates his position as the most original, idiosyncratic and poetic exponent of the gangster film working anywhere in the world today ... 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 »

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