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Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

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Two cops have to work together to bring down the Yakuza, while trying to protect a beautiful woman.


Mark L. Lester



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dolph Lundgren ... Sgt. Chris Kenner
Brandon Lee ... Johnny Murata
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Funekei Yoshida
Tia Carrere ... Minako Okeya
Toshishiro Obata Toshishiro Obata ... Sato
Philip Tan ... Tanaka
Rodney Kageyama ... Eddie
Ernie Lively ... Detective Nelson
Renee Allman Renee Allman ... Angel Mueller (as Renee Griffin)
Reid Asato Reid Asato ... Muto
Takayo Fischer ... Mama Yamaguchi
Simon Rhee ... Ito
Vernee Watson ... Nonnie Russell - Coroner (as Vernee Watson-Johnson)
Lenny Imamura Lenny Imamura ... Kickboxer #1
Roger Yuan ... Kickboxer #2


Detective Chris Kenner was orphaned as a child as his father was in the service and was killed and lived in Japan. Now he is on the trail of ruthless Yakuza leader named Yoshido, who helped establish a small Japanese area in Los Angeles and is now running a drug ring disguised as a brewery. However, Kenner must team up with a Japanese-American detective named Johnny Murata, and he also must protect a witness named Minako who would testify against Yoshido. But what Kenner will soon discover that he will be in a lot more than what he bargained for. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One's a warrior. One's a wise guy. They're two L.A. cops going after a gang of drug lords. Feet first.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language, sensuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sgt. K. See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$649,809, 25 August 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Mark L. Lester came up with the original story for the film, and his agent Martin E. Caan who wanted to produce the film also worked on the story. Two of them then hired some of their screenwriter friends to write a script for the film. Stephen Glantz and Caliope Brattlestreet, who are credited in the final film for writing the script, were first writers who were hired and they wrote first draft of the script titled Sgt. K. Couple other writers, Gary DeVore and Dennis Hackin, each wrote their own drafts of the script.

Screenwriter Steve Sharon also wrote a draft of the script which was re-titled into Yakuza and although it got some praise, filmmakers thought it was too serious version of the script, and they wanted for movie to be less serious and more of a tongue in cheek film similar to Lester's Commando (1985). Another screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin wrote the final shooting script which was again re-titled into Showdown In Little Tokyo. See more »


When Kenner fights against sumo in water he stabs him in left part of his belly, and makes big wound moving his knife left-right. In next shot when Kenner tries to get out of water and sumo pulls him down, if you watch carefully, you can see that there is no wound or blood on sumo's left side. See more »


Johnny Murata: There's nothing wrong with my form!
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Alternate Versions

The Finnish cuts include:
  • The punishment of the failed bodyguard is shortened; the finger removing is intact, but the stabbing, and the yakuza-boss' yelling (Bring me the head of the blond cop!) is completely deleted.
  • The scene in the steam bath has lost some footage; several shots of Kenner (Dolph Lungren) stabbing the fat guy and pushing a hose to his mouth in the pool have been deleted, and the shootings of the nude yakuza-men in slow-motion are no more.
  • The scene where Kenner comes to rescue the suicidal woman (Tia Carrere) has lost some neck-snappings, and shootings. The final scenes have lost a lot of material, like Johnny (Brandon Lee) blowing up the guy in the gas barrel, and Kenner shooting thugs with a big machine gun.
  • The ultimate showdown between Kenner and the Yakuza boss has been heavily trimmed; all the bloody slashings to Kenner are no more, and a sword has been pushed through the boss's stomach... or rather isn't. NOTE: The Finnish dvd-version (anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1) is the full uncut version, and so is the Finnish video version re-release too (both rated K18).
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


The Woman in Me
Written and Produced by Walter "Kandor" Khan
Performed by Natalie
Courtesy of Sunshine Entertainment and Scully Music Co.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Reminiscent of an 80's porn film.
30 December 2006 | by princessjasmin89See all my reviews

I give this movie a 5 for entertainment value.. This is the worst acting i have ever seen in a movie.. It contained humorous script and bad directing..

The main female character Minako is raped/"irredeemably betrayed" by her 'owner' and feels it necessary to commit suicide.. yet in the following scenes she strips down nude and jumps in a hot tub with a guy she has only just met.. yes, he WAS her knight in shining armour, but come on! THEN she pursues a sexual relationship with him, and the camera displays her as the 'dominate' one. The 'betrayal' doesn't appear to be affecting her in the slightest.

I feel sorry for the Johnny character, he appears to be second best or third wheel throughout the movie. The main villain has a scar in his left cheek.. of which looks better every time it is seen throughout the film. Continuity seems to be an issue.

As much as this film has bad taste bad acting and bad script, it was quite entertaining for myself, as a viewer, due to the above facts. The unintentional humour is what made me watch through to the end, and possibly even again on a day i need some cheering up.

All in all it was not bad for the era it was filmed in. Cheers.

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