Blood for Money! Sonny Chiba is "Golgo 13", a cold, calculating, ruthless assassin, working for the U.S. drug syndicate. His assignment: "take-out" Hong Kong's underworld kingpin. His only ... See full summary »
Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »
Sonny Chiba plays the character referred to as "Mr Soh", who is based on the true life founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So. Mr Soh has been acting as a secret agent in Manchuria during the... See full summary »
One of the Japanese Shinkansen "Bullet Trains" is threatened with a bomb that will explode automatically if the train slows below 80 km/h, unless a ransom is paid. Police race to find the bombers and to learn how to defuse the bomb. Written by
Pop quiz: there's a bomb on board and if you go under 50, it'll go off. What do you do? Well, if you're a Hollywood studio, you move the bomb from The Bullet Train and put it on an L.A. bus and hope that no-one reminds you that Japan did it first in 1975 with this Takakura Ken movie. More a typical 70s disaster movie than a thriller, with all the stock characters onboard yes, including the hysterical businessman and obligatory pregnant woman - Takakura Ken broods magnificently as ever as the bad guy with a grudge and a supply of explosive devices while Sonny Chiba is almost lost in the crowd as the driver on the train trying to prevent the big bang (no, he doesn't hit anyone for once). Shame it's so dull.
There are a couple of mildly interesting plot twists and there's a surprising emphasis on the family of extortionists who are far more sympathetic than the clichéd and irritating passengers or the bungling cops, but there's no reason for it to stretch out to more than two-and-a-half hours. There's also a curious sense of constantly being outside the action, as if a passing spectator rather than a participant. One occasion where Hollywood definitely did it better.
Optimum's UK DVD is the uncut subtitled version in a decent 2.35:1 transfer.
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