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BOILING POINT

Japan, 1990 (MIFF 1992, Spotlight Takeshi)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

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 and product are perfectly matched. The crowds that saw Violent Cop will not be sur­prised to hear that Takeshi's new film is anoth­er electrifying entertainment.

The David-and-Goliath plot gets into gear when scrawny teenager Masaki gets into a fight with a yakuza and accidentally breaks the gangster's arm, leaving himself and the gas station where he works open to massive reprisals. What to do? Masaki and a couple of friends fly to Okinawa to buy a gun to protect themselves. On arrival they tag along with a local yakuza (played, inimitably, by Takeshi himself) whose off-the-wall behaviour scares them rigid. He turns out to be caught up in a gang war of his own, and soon they're dodging bullets. But they get their gun and head home for a cataclysmic showdown.

Boiling Point is even better than Violent Cop; a slow-bum thriller that underpins its cri­tique of selfishness and small-mindedness with shocks, breathtaking surprises and truly outra­geous jokes. And twice the caffeine.

• Tony Rayns

See also...

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 »

VIOLENT COP

... ... 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 ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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