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In China, the poor worker Tietou repairs tractors and misses his sweetheart Xiu Xiu, back in Japan, she having never sent any news to her family or him. While illegally emigrating to Japan, Tietou loses his Chinese documents and so cannot return to his country. He is welcomed by his countrymen who lodge and work in Shinjuku where they also help him to find illegal work. While running from a police raid through the sewage system where Chinese are illegally working, Tietou saves Inspector Kitano from drowning in the dirty water. Later, after an incident with his cousin, Joe, and a Taiwan gang, Tietou saves the powerful Yakuza boss Toshinari Eguchi. He is the husband of Xiu Xiu, who is now called Yuko and are parents of a little daughter. The mobster offers a dirty job to Tietou; in retribution, he promises to deliver the quarter dominated by the Taiwan gang to him. Tietou becomes the boss of the Chinese illegal immigrants. But his peaceful methods make him unpopular and Tietou starts to... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Harsh and realistic depiction of society's underbelly
Jackie Chan's darkest film yet is a quality piece of drama exploring life within Japan's Yakuza gangs. It's a very atypical film for the star, better known these days for his kid-friendly fare in American family films. For fans of Asian thrillers, the gangster elements will be largely familiar, but they're introduced in a novel and interesting way; it's the first film I've seen detailing the plight of Chinese refugee immigrants in Japan.
The twisty-turny plot offers up many twists that are difficult to predict, and the on-screen action is never less than interesting. Jackie gets the opportunity to focus on his acting rather than his martial arts for a change, and he shines as the conflicted farmhand-turned-gangster. Although this isn't an action film per se, there are many memorable set-pieces, not least a large-scale climax that makes for riveting entertainment.
The film's well-shot, if a little dark, and features decent turns from actors in supporting roles (Japanese actors Naoto Takenaka and Masaya Kato are both excellent). Daniel Wu's character in the film undergoes a particularly frightening and believable transformation. The scenes of violence and torture may not be for every viewer's taste, but THE SHINJUKU INCIDENT is a rewarding experience for those viewers exploring Jackie's progression as an actor.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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