Detective Azuma is a Dirty-Harry style rogue cop who often uses violence and unethical methods to get results. While investigating a series of drug-related homicides, Azuma discovers that his friend and colleague, Iwaki, is supplying drugs from within the police force. After Iwaki is murdered and Azuma's sister is kidnapped, he breaks all the rules to dish out his particular form of justice.Written by
Todd K. Bowman <email@example.com>
During the opening of Violent Cop (1989), eagerly awaiting the reaction of the audience, Takeshi Kitano sneaked into the cinema and became very disappointed. The audience laughed whenever he appeared on the screen. From that moment on, Kitano was determined only to play dark characters, never to do comedy on screen. As he later, with a smile on his face, explained on the matter: "It took me ten years of playing serial killers and rapists to be perceived as a serious actor among the Japanese public." See more »
[Kiyohiro has been served a search warrant.]
[Azuma pulls out an envelope and a syringe.]
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There are no opening credits beyond the title. See more »
When the film was released in Swedish cinemas in 1992, it was censored with a little more than one minute for violence, the cuts were made in the following scenes:
The policeman getting assaulted before he gets his head crushed by a baseball bat.
The scene where Azuma assaults Hazishume on the toilet, and the finger cutting sequence.
The following cuts are when Azuma assaults the killer in the locker room and a bloody execution scene at the end.
I admit, I have fallen prey into appreciating, respecting, and even loving the style of Takeshi Kitano. With "Brother" being my first Kitano film, it was slightly difficult for me to get into his awkward directing methods. Long takes of characters moving (or sitting, or standing) lifelessly, sudden bursts of graphic violence, occasional humor, strange editing techniques, etc. It took me a while to fully appreciate his way of telling a story and developing his characters. Eventually, once I realized how it was meant to be I simply got hooked. Kitano has definitely set a name for himself as a respected filmmaker in Asian Cinema and film-making itself.
All the ass-kissing aside, I decided to check out his early stuff to see how it all started. And I must say, Violent Cop came out as a disappointment to me.
In fact, if it wasn't for a few interesting scenes and the Kitano flavored direction, I'd say it was downright HORRIBLE.
So where do we go from here? Well, I've barely seen any of Kitano's usual comedic routines in Japan, so I was able to take him seriously in this film. That's a start.
I'll try summing up what I think went wrong with this film: Kitano got a hold of a director's position for the first time, but got too excited and smeared the whole film (nervously) with his own style.
That's how it feels like watching Violent Cop. It tries too hard to be different (not saying being different is a bad thing, but it certainly feels forced in this one). I understand this was Kitano's very first effort in directing (he even acknowledges in an interview that he truly dislikes this film), but if you're more into his recent work (or anything after Violent Cop really), there's a high chance you'll be disappointed.
"The Cons": The BIGGEST issue I have with the whole film isn't the direction (it's not bad at all), it's the freaking script. The story almost goes nowhere. I had a hard time telling why many scenes were in the film (especially by the second half). It feels like they were there for the sake of being there. Maybe I'm wrong, or I don't grasp the whole "art" behind it, but it certainly felt very sloppy in this one. Don't get me wrong, the story has its moments, and it's not much confusing, but there's too much focus on the most unnecessary of things.
"The Pros": Now that I've vented my frustration with the film... The presence of Kitano's direction make up for the whole messed up script. I find the opening shot to be bizarrely riveting, and traces of the Kitano directorial spice which eventually evolved into much better films are to be found in Violent Cop. The characters were quite believable (Kitano does shine as always with showing very little emotion-besides rage, of course), some were creepy, some just really messed up (I felt truly sorry for the main character's daughter), all in all a decent acting effort. The violence was pretty satisfying, too. Also, the film contains probably the single most awesome foot/car chase I've ever seen (don't get your hopes up, though); seriously, as these mainstream films try their best to make it "breathtaking", Kitano captures it beautifully in this one. The slow music, the way we see them running from the strangest angles, the whole scene lasts over ten minutes, and it's simply really damn cool!
In the end: Check it out, it won't hurt. Though, if you've seen any of Kitano's other films then prepare to be somewhat disappointed. If you're starting out with him, I suggest you seek out a different title instead (perhaps Sonatine or Brother).
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