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."
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