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Violent Cop (1989)

Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 16 July 1999 (USA)
Trailer
1:21 | Trailer
A violence prone police officer discovers that his colleague is trafficking drugs.

Director:

Takeshi Kitano

Writer:

Hisashi Nozawa (original writer)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takeshi Kitano ... Azuma (as Beat Takeshi)
Maiko Kawakami Maiko Kawakami ... Akari
Makoto Ashikawa Makoto Ashikawa ... Kikuchi
Shirô Sano ... Yoshinari
Sei Hiraizumi Sei Hiraizumi ... Iwaki (as Shigeru Hiraizumi)
Mikiko Otonashi Mikiko Otonashi ... Iwaki's Wife
Hakuryû ... Kiyohiro
Ittoku Kishibe Ittoku Kishibe ... Nito
Ken Yoshizawa Ken Yoshizawa ... Shinkai
Hiroyuki Katsube Hiroyuki Katsube ... Deputy Police Chief Higuchi
Noboru Hamada Noboru Hamada ... Chief Detective Araki
Yuuki Kawai Yuuki Kawai ... Detective Honma
Ritsuko Amano Ritsuko Amano ... Honma's Fiancee
Tarô Ishida Tarô Ishida ... Detective Tashiro
Katsuki Muramatsu Katsuki Muramatsu ... Deputy Commissioner Anan
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Storyline

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 <tkbowman@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Takeshi Kitano often clashed with the crew, especially in regards to the visual style. When Azuma (Kitano) is walking to the police station, Kitano didn't want to show his whole head, his face would be partially out of the frame. This caused tension with the crew and Kitano often met with strong opposition. In the end, Kitano partially managed to achieve the visual style he was aiming for as he and the crew had frequent discussions and yet could not resolve their differences. The end result was an unplanned mixture of scenes shot with the cinematographer, Yasushi Sasakibara's sensibilities, and scenes which Kitano forced the crew to shoot the way he wanted. See more »

Quotes

Shinkai: So you're replacing Iwaki?
Kikuchi: Except I'm much smarter.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits beyond the title. See more »

Alternate Versions

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Dead or Alive (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Sono otoko, kyoboni tsuki (Sax Version)
Music by Daisaku Kume
Arranged by Daisaku Kume
Produced by Kazuyoshi Okuyama
Courtesy by Vap Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Uncompromising, Relentless, Ultraviolent Cop - Kitano's Brilliant Debut Is Dirtier Than Harry Ever Was

There is no doubt in my mind that Takeshi Kitano is one of the greatest cinematic geniuses alive, and his nihilistic 1989 directorial debut is a fantastic proof for that. "Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki" aka. "Violent Cop" is one of the rawest, most uncompromising cop films ever made, and, at the same time, arguably one of the most promising debut films ever delivered. Due to its 'unorthodox cop' premise, the film is often compared to films like the "Dirty Harry" series or "Bad Lieutennant". The stone-faced and irascible copper Azuma (brilliant performance by director Kitano, under his acting name 'Beat Takeshi'), is ten times dirtier than Harry ever was and incomparably more ruthless than the Baddest New York Lieutennant. Azuma could even give the ultra-unorthodox coppers in 70s Italian Poliziotteschi flicks a lesson in police violence. At least most violent cops in 70s exploitation cinema did what they did to protect society from scumbags, whilst Azuma does it out of anger, and he does not even bother asking questions before beating confessions out of criminals. Honestly, "Violent Cop" beats everything in the copper-flick field in its incredibly nihilistic premise, and yet it finds the time for slower moments, and Kitano's typically absurd and ingeniously black humor.

Detective Azuma (Kitano), and irascible homicide detective hates the criminal as he hates the crime, and he does not attempt to hide this attitude. His unorthodox methods, which include the severe beating of suspects, have caused him trouble with his superiors in the past, but Azuma does not seem to care. When ruthless Yakuza gangsters make things personal, they have to realize that they might have made an enemy whose relentlessness easily equals theirs...

I would love to further discuss the film's ingenious plot, but I do not want to spoil anything, as every true film lover should be able to experience the greatness of "Violent Cop". Unlike Kitano's other films, for which Kitano himself wrote the stories, this film is an adaptation of a novel by Hiashi Nozawa. Kitano's work, however, is ingenious, as screenwriter, director and leading man of this film. There is no other director who is capable of combining brutal nihilistic violence, tragedy and (black) comedy as effectively as Kitano does. Asked about the violence in his films in an interview, Kitano himself has once stated that nobody could possibly want to reproduce the violence seen in his films, simply because it is painful to look at. And it is true, hardly another director makes the pain caused by the violence as obvious as Kitano does. Kitano has a unique stamina when showing violence, which makes the viewer almost feel the pain. I don't want to spoil anything by giving an example - see this film and know what I am talking about. At the same time Kitano always has moments that are absurdly comical. As all Kitano protagonists, Azuma, even though an irascible and violent man, has a very odd sense of humor. His response to a barmaid's question what he does for a living is just one example for that. Also in a typical Kitano-manner, the film takes the time for slower parts in-between, like Azuma crossing a bridge for example.

Kitano is as great as leading man as he is as director here. His stoic performance as Azuma is brilliant. The stone-faced copper always has a poker face, but it is nonetheless obvious that he is boiling in fury - how many other actors could be predestined for a role like this as Kitano is. No one, in my opinion. It is Kitano's performance which carries this film, and yet the other performances are also excellent. Hakuryu is particularly excellent as a sadistic Yakuza hit-man. Maiko Kawakami is also very convincing as Azuma's mentally disturbed sister. The rest of the cast includes several great character actors who have since become regulars in Kitano's films, such as Ittoku Kishihe as a Yakuza boss or Makoto Ashikawa as Azuma's young colleague. Lovers of Italian cult-cinema, by the way will be delighted to see a scene in which Kitano brilliantly pays tribute to Sergio Martino's Giallo "La Coda Dello Scorpione" (1971). "Violent Cop" is greatly shot and accompanied by an insanely brilliant score. Kitano's use of music in his films is another part of his brilliance, and really has to be experienced instead of explained.

All said, "Violent Cop" is a unique cinematic experience that must not be missed. Ultraviolent, nihilistic, sometimes slow in detail and more often fast and incredibly raw, brutal, sometimes tragic and sometimes oddly comical, this is the uncompromising masterpiece that marks the beginning in the cinematic career of one of today's most brilliant filmmakers. And, apart from his unmatched 1997 masterpiece "Hana-Bi" (aka. "Fireworks"), Kitano's debut still ranks among his greatest accomplishments. A true must!


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

16 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Violent Cop See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,960
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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