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|Index||54 reviews in total|
Jackie Chan has been known to audiences worldwide for his spectacular,
comedic and stunt-filled martial arts. Well, now in this movie, Chan
gets to show off acting chops as well, with a few kicks and punches
thrown in as well.
The setting and story are surprisingly solid and well done. The movie paces along in a brisk pace (courtesy of director Derek Yee), and is gripping throughout. The cinematography is beautiful at times and gritty at others, showing Tokyo as a whole. And it's fun to see Japanese and Chinese spoken a lot in this film, really pulls you into the film further.
While the level of violence is the highest than any other Jackie Chan movie (there is graphic brutal violence in some action scenes), the total amount of violence is surprisingly little, with the majority of the film dealing with the characters' trials and tribulations. There are some fight sequences, but don't expect Chan to do his usual thing; at times he's down to earth and makes us genuinely feel for his character, at times he is directly brutal. This film is NOT for the easily disturbed.
The acting is above average. Chan delivers a standout performance, an illegal worker who tries to protect his kinsman by gaining respect by and protecting themselves from the Yakuza. Another great performance comes by Daniel Wu, a fellow immigrant who gets his innocence lost... the hard way. The two love interests and the detective also get props too.
For those of you expecting another Chan romp ala Rush Hour and Supercop, you may find yourself refreshed at Chan's sudden change of pace. For those who like crime dramas such as City of God, give this one a shot. This is definitely one of Chan's highest marks, and I hope to see more of the new, dramatic Chan in the future.
Overall rating: 8/10
I went to see this film out of the blue, wasn't hyped, didn't even know
it came out yet. However I am a fan of Asian films, not hardcore as
some but I've watched my fair share, also you can say I'm a fan of
Daniel Wu and of course Jackie Chan.
That said, this film you can put next to Jackie Chan's more serious films, and without a doubt IS his most serious film in all his career, in my opinion.
The plot is obviously based on the Chinese people who "migrated" to Japan and their struggles and battles to establish themselves, mix in Japanese yakuza, turf war and old missing friend(s), and then to top it off depiction of human tendencies to be corrupted by power.
Analyzing the plot is time consuming and I don't get paid for it, so I wont get into it too much at all. However I do want to mention that it is a gritty film, it is violent, harsh but these things were necessary to set the tone of the film. Don't expect the usual Jackie Chan flips, martial arts, fun kung-fu action scenes.. no.. its more realistic that violence is represented by people chopping each other almost Kill Bill-esquire.
It is a serious film, well shot, well acted and the cast were well suited. Daniel Wu is good in it, although some questionable and real quick turn of character as the movie goes on. Jackie Chan is good too, the man can put on a serious face and act in a dramatic role when he needs to. I'm glad it was made for the Asian audiences, I can imagine it being only being mediocre if not bad if westernized.
If you want a film with a scar face esquire story/plot, lots of gang members fighting, a bit of drama, heaps of blood and quiet frankly a pretty darn good film... then I recommend it.
Its a 4 star movie for me...
The dark world of Film Noir, with its complex plots, shades of gray and
evocations of unrelenting human evil, has long been one genre where
Hong Kong cinema has lagged behind Hollywood. After "Infernal Affairs",
however, things have changed, and Hong Kong cinema has finally gotten
to this profoundly affecting and challenging genre.
Jackie Chan stars as Iron Zhao aka Steelhead, a truck repairman from China's poor but happy Northeast who settles down as an illegal immigrant in Tokyo, and after a series of run-ins with the Yakuza, rises to power as the Don of Chinese illegal immigrants. However, things get out of control when Steelhead is foolish enough to believe in clean getaways in a world that offers none, and soon comes to seal his own fate. A superb supporting cast rounds up this tale of a man's tragic fall from Grace against an unstoppable tide of greed, corruption and evil.
Derek Yee creates a grandly atmospheric, neat piece of work evoking the grime and grit of Tokyo existing under the glittery clean streets, to bring out an immortal tale that has existed as long as there were cities: a tale of hard-luck immigrants who fight their way to the top against all odds in the world of crime, and for the pursuit of money and power, damn their souls to hell.
This is a totally different style of movie that we are so used to see
It is however a very touching story that i highly recommend to others to watch.
The movie is enticing all the way and the directory has done a fantastic job in his filming and story telling.
Given my background, i can very much identify with the characters in the movie.
Life is full of surprises, highs, lows, twists, irony, love, hate, joy, pride and all these are found in the movie.
Just loved it.
In China, the poor worker Nick (Jackie Chan) works repairing tractors
and misses his sweetheart Xiu Xiu (Jinglei Xu) that moved to Japan and
has never sent any news to her family or him. While illegally
emigrating to Japan, Nick loses his Chinese documents; therefore his
journey would have no return to his country. He is welcomed by his
countrymen that lodge and help him to find illegal work in Shinjuku.
While running from a police raid in the sewage system where Chinese are
illegally working, Nick saves Inspector Kitano (Naoto Takenaka) from
drowning in the dirty water. Later, after an incident with his cousin
Joe (Daniel Wu) and the Taiwan gang, Nick saves the powerful Yakuza
boss Toshinari Eguchi (Masaya Kato) and husband of Xiu Xiu, who is now
called Yuko and has a little daughter with Eguchi. The mobster offers a
dirty job to Nick; in retribution, he promises to deliver the quarter
dominated by the Taiwan gang to him. Nick becomes the boss of the
Chinese illegal immigrants; however he loses control of his countrymen,
leading the Chinese gang to a tragic end.
"San Suk Si Gin" is a surprisingly great Yakuza movie that discloses the raise and fall of a poor illegal immigrant with warming-heart in an environment of corruption, betrayal and greed. I dare to say that the storyline is very similar to 1983 "Scarface", now set in place in an exotic neighborhood. The anti-hero Jackie Chan is a contradictory man with good principles that loses his innocence in a hostile environment and is capable of murdering to improve his and his countrymen's lives. My only remark is the ridiculous Brazilian DVD released by the distributor Califórnia Filmes that does not offer the original languages (Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese) but only awfully versions dubbed in English or Portuguese instead. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Massacre no Bairro Chines" ("Massacre in the Chinese Quarter")
I want to start by saying this: if you're a fan of Jackie Chan's usual
slapstick acrobatics and comedy that doesn't mean you should shy away
from this film. Yes, many of those movies are great but it's also nice
to know he can...you know...actually act. Just think of it like Robin
Williams doing One Hour Photo. Sure, you knew him as Mork, but he was
absolutely perfect for his role in One Hour Photo as the insanely
creepy photo lab guy. And so it goes for Jackie Chan. His bread and
butter will always be goofball kung fu films but man...he can
definitely act if he has to.
In terms of plot there really isn't much you haven't seen before in this film. If you've ever watched a movie about a guy crossing the Yakuza while trying to get the girl, not a whole lot will be new here. I did like the added sense of unity that most Yakuza movies lack with all of the Chinese immigrants. Also, the film touches on the often tenuous relationship that China and Japan share. That's not usually presented in a realistic manner...maybe in Jet Li's Fist Of Legend (still one of the best kung fu flicks to date in my opinion), but that's more of a period piece. And forget about all of those Men Behind The Sun films...while they may be somewhat accurate they're more like snuff films than a real historical look. This may also be (to my knowledge, anyway) Jackie's first Category III movie (for westerners who are unfamiliar, this would be the equivalent of the US's Unrated status or maybe the UK's 18 rating. And I think the Aussies have MA-18? Whatever). So it took Chan until his 50s to make a movie with enough substance to carry such a heavy rating.
I'd definitely recommend this for Jackie Chan fans...especially the ones who started to feel like they'd gotten a bit tired of seeing him doing the same "awe shucks" good guy hero thing. Don't get me wrong...Dragons Forever ranks right up there for me among kung fu films, but you can only milk that for so long, you know? Hell...even Adam Sandler moved on and, let's face it, he's not the most mature guy in the world. But Chan succeeds where Sandler failed...he proved he can be counted on in a dead serious role and deliver as good as ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Real rating: 9.5/10
Contrary to many of the ratings here, this film was top-notch. I feel as though that this film is not very well understood for many reasons. I mean it shows off Jackie Chan's acting capabilities quite well while showing a surprisingly accurate life of a Chinese immigrant in Japan (up to the part where they get the land). While many are accustomed to seeing Jackie do the standard Kung-fu dance in action films, this will give them a new perspective on the Hong Kong native. Every actor in this movie seemed to have done a decent or great job in their roles as you can feel the tension and emotions that arise in the film. Some people may be put off by Daniel Wu's flashy look halfway though the film, but let it be known that that kind of style is common among Japanese youths (especially delinquents).
As far as the plot goes, it was pretty well constructed (the idea of the land being passed on to the Chinese simply after two murders seems a little far fetched, but it was well explained). It really felt reminiscent of Scarface, but unique in its own right.
As for the cinematography, the film did quite a good job at capturing the dirt, grime and substance of the urban Japan life. In order to fully appreciate this movie, one must have some knowledge on Asian cultures (such as racism, which is a big deal with foreigners in Japan). This knowledge provides you with the background information needed to see how all these nationalities clash during the film with the final scene depicting the Triad fighting off the Yakuza in a last stand.
Overall, I found this film to be both educational, but with the right amount of drama and action. It ends with a stunning, action-packed climax that left me breathless. The Shinjuku Incident is a movie that can be appreciated by even the most snobbish film goers. I feel as though many of the people who despised the film really just wanted to see Jackie Chan do back flips or see Japan in a better light (as portrayed by the media).
Yes, Jackie Chan can do serious drama acting.
In fact, if you're a fan or you're familiar with his pass work, such as 1985 "Heart of Dragon", he's drama acting is quite good.
Westerners who only know Jackie by "Rush Hour" might find this film distasteful as it doesn't fit their stereotypical expectation of a funny/silly ass kicking Jackie Chan.
This movie puts on stage the tragic human drama of Chinese illegal immigrants in japan. The film payed a lot of attention in the details, and its backed up by so many good/great actors from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and japan.
The director strikes a PERFECT balance in handling the sensitive relationship between Chinese and Japanese.
There isn't much special effects in this movie. It all comes down to the realistic acting and intriguing storyline and ends with a befitting conclusion.
It's very unfortunate this movie hasn't received the publicity it deserves especially in the west. If you're observant, you might notice that even "IMDb.com" is downplaying the influence of great Asian movies such as this one by giving it a Cantonese title "San Suk Si Gin (2009)" instead of "Shinjiku Incident" in an attempt to withhold it from English speaking audience.
Everyone from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and most of all japan, SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE.
Ironically, if you're westerner who likes Jackie Chan because of Rush hour, YOU DEFINITELY WON'T LIKE THIS DRAMA!
Another inspiring and meaningful movie directed by Derek Yee, he still intends to educate his audience after the success of "Protege" The story of the movie is very very good indeed. 10years of planning in pre-pro gives Derek Yee a solid script, but he tends to inject too many incidents and characters to the movie. Which is why, he didn't actually put all his effort into every scenes. I cannot really recognize his style in this movie, but of course he is still very focusing on the message of the story. No action and stunts by Jackie Chan, which is...quite weird for me....but we all gotta try to accept him...maybe give him a chance. Another fantastic performance by Daniel Wu, always maintain his own acting style while he has already possessed to his character. "Shinjuku Incident" is a movie that is worth for a watch, if you are not looking for an excellent cinematography and editing aspects.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Director Derek Yee's film that opened the HK International Film
Festival was released a week later in the cinemas. Set in the
underworld (no vampires here, except figuratively) of Tokyo in the 90s,
this is the story of an illegal Chinese immigrant Steelhead, arguably
the most dramatic role that Jackie Chan has tackled to-date.
The storyline line is simple. Steelhead goes to Tokyo as an illegal labourer in search of his sweetheart from the innocent days, and gets entangled with the gangland war between Chinese gangs from various backgrounds. A born leader, he organizes his co-workers, initially for self-preservation, but gradually moves into shady, profitable activities. As the local Chinese gangs have yakuzas backups, the power struggle soon escalates. Siding with a powerful yakuzas gang, Steelhead successfully cuts a profitable tuft for his gang. But when he feels that it's time to make a gradual transition into legitimate business (what responsible underworld leader wouldn't think Vito and Michael Corleone), he finds that he is already too far down in the road of no return.
Despite being set in relatively exotic Shinjuku, this gangster movie, on the surface, does not seem to offer anything new. What Director Yee has done however is crafted a consistently engaging movie that stay on course throughout, depicting a world where there is no true hero. Everything is done with mixed motivations, altruistic as well as self-serving. Jackie Chan portrays the protagonist's dilemma particularly well in the final confrontation with his blood brothers who have turned against him.
Another interesting plot line, which has a bit of John Woo flavour, is the relationship between Steelhead and Inspector Kitano, whose life he saved in an accident. The moral parrying between the two in quite engaging, especially with the good performance of Naoto Takenaka who departs temporary from his comic persona to play a serious role here.
Still another interesting subplot is the character development of Jie, a most tragic character played powerfully by Daniel Wu. Without revealing the details, I'll just say that Jie starts as one of the boys, the most timid and good natured of the lot, and ends up as a reckless leader of a young gang dealing in drugs. Watching Wu towards the end of the movie, you may be reminded of Heath Ledger's appearance as Joker. It might even be an intentional tribute.
The romance department is no more than decorative. While we have two very attractive actors who can act XU Jinglei and FAN Bingbing (especially Xu) their respective roles as Steelhead's ex and current sweetheart don't offer much opportunity for them to.
Under Yee's confident, no-nonsense direction, the story is told with crisp clarity. It is not one of those movies that try to sell on gore and blood, but when it is called for, it's grittier than most. While even the typical violent movie would handle the bloodiest scenes with quick flashes, this movie dwells on them. And there is a reason for it to register the devastation on the victim. The audience better be psychologically prepared for this.
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