Allegedly based on a true story, this film follows the life of Toshi, a Japanese man living in America and working with the New York City police. After being recommended for undercover work... See full summary »
Allegedly based on a true story, this film follows the life of Toshi, a Japanese man living in America and working with the New York City police. After being recommended for undercover work, Toshi decides to go after a gang lead by Hawk. Hawk and Toshi soon become friends, although Hawk's second-in-command, Tito, is suspicious of the newcomer. Will Toshi be able to bring the gang down, or will his cover be blown before he can finish the assignment? Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nyû Yôku No Koppu (New York Cop) 3/10: The generically named New York Cop is a run of the mill undercover cop story taking place in early nineties New York City back when the lower east side still had crime, drugs and ethnically diverse homeless.
Filmed on location this Japanese production has a decent enough action, a plot (that while certainly muddled) moves along nicely and that whacky over the top Japanese racism that cracks me up every time. In fact it is at times as insane as an Italian exploitation film such as Escape from the Bronx. (Hillbilly rednecks in Manhattan? Staten Island I could believe but the Meatpacking district?) It does have one fatal flaw however. It stars Tôru Nakamura.
Toru doesn’t speak English well. In fact he really doesn’t speak at all. To cover the fact he really doesn’t speak at all. He instead makes those noises that the teachers in the Peanuts cartoons used to make. And to cover up that fact he speaks at such a low volume you will be straining to hear a word. This isn’t always fatal to a film. I’ve seen dozen of badly dubbed European exploitation films where a character or two is unintelligible. But Toru is in almost every bloody scene and it becomes irritating quickly.
Now you may defend him by admitting that not every kung-fu cop can be Jackie Chan. This of course is a fair argument if Jackie Chan wasn’t already in the film with a small role. In fact the rest of the cast is so above board one wonders if the lead cardboard cutout isn’t somebody’s nephew or something.
Along with Jackie Chan is Mira Sorvino as the love interest with the Eighties hair and sweater. Tony Sirico (Paulie from the Sopranos) as the Mob guy: Relative unknown Chad McQueen (Who easily gives the best performance in the film) as the “good guy” gang leader and Sorvino’s overprotective brother. Hell it even has a decent run by Andreas Katsulas (The one armed guy in the Harrison Ford version of the Fugitive) If they had given Chan the lead role and tighten the story a little bit this could have worked.
Of course if you are going to go to the trouble of making a good movie you might want to jettison the Serpico reject undercover cop, the horrible musical soundtrack during the Sorvino sex scene, and the Dukes of Hazard rejects gang. I was in the Lower east side of New York in the early nineties and I still don’t recall any large group of hillbillies flying confederate flags.
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