7.5/10
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Bôsô panikku: Daigekitotsu (1976)

Takashi, a bank robber, dreams of his final heist and escaping to Brazil. But in his way, stands a woman that loves him, his dead partner's brother, a corrupt cop, a motorcycle gang and every police officer in the Kanto region.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tsunehiko Watase
Hideo Murota
Takuzô Kawatani
Yayoi Watanabe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ryô Nishida
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Storyline

Takashi, a bank robber, dreams of his final heist and escaping to Brazil. But in his way, stands a woman that loves him, his dead partner's brother, a corrupt cop, a motorcycle gang and every police officer in the Kanto region.

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28 February 1976 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Violent Panic: The Big Crash  »

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You Have Never Seen Anything Like This
31 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like its title, this crazy Toei film from 1976 falls neatly into two parts. The first details the exploits of two bank robbers who specialize in "smash and grab" style heists. Evidently, Japanese banks of the period left huge piles of cash laying around on filing cabinets and end tables. The thieves dream of escaping Japan and going to Brazil. Charismatic lead Tsunehiko Watase gets involved with Miki Sugimoto, a strange girl with a severe mental problem. After a bank robbery goes wrong and his partner is killed, Watase is assaulted by his dead partner's thuggish brother who wants the loot.

While director / writer Kinji Fukasaku handles the first section with his usual skill, his style cannot overcome the sleaziness typical of Toei pictures from this period. We get lots of gratuitous nudity and an unnecessary S&M sidebar involving a gay doctor and a garage mechanic. This is all overlaid with a dreadful Toei canned score.

However, the movie takes off during the "Big Crash" finale. This is a combination car chase, demolition derby and Keystone Kops comedy. Watase plans a last heist to get enough money for Sugimoto to turn her pitiful life around. The main characters seem to have congregated around that bank including the thug brother and a corrupt cop that has been looking for Watase. As he escapes, the chase starts. Initially, it involves the crook, the cop and the brother in a tow truck. As accidents happen, we add a beer truck, a taxi and some civilians. Following more accidents and some casualties, a motorcycle gang, a broadcast van, more police cars and several civilians join the chase. The racers crash through roadblocks and other barriers until they hit a massive police barricade. At this point, chaos ensues. There are crashes, explosions, assaults and a mass attack on a police car by enraged citizens.

Director Fukasaku really shows his mastery of the medium during this extended action sequence. He keeps everything moving at a manic clip and tosses off stylistic flourishes effortlessly. Even the music improves, only lapsing back to the canned stuff at the end of the movie.

Tsunehiko Watase carries the movie by himself. He is tough and terribly cool. Former model Sugimoto is no actress, as anyone who tried to watch her "pinky violence" / delinquent girl movies can attest. Fukasaku uses her effectively as a living prop with minimal dialog. The rest of the cast is reasonable, despite some mugging and overdone comic bits. Still, Violent Panic: The Big Crash is a lot of fun. For fans of the director, it is a treat.


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