Shinjuku Incident (2009)

The film was remarkably made setting off issues in cultural diversity, turf wars and the enduring human spirit to survive this dog eat dog world!

Shinjuku Incident

Cine Asia in association with JCE Movies Limited present…

This is the film that brought me back to Asian Cinema! Directed by Derek Yee (Protégé) the story narrates a tractor mechanic and farmer named Steelhead provocatively portrayed by Jackie Chan (Rush Hour) from North Eastern China who longs for a better life! Set adrift on the shores of Japan, he took the chance to go to the place where his lost love named Xiu Xiu played by Xu Jinglei (The Warlords) was last heard off… but with a price! Taking part time crap jobs just to get by, he was able to start his life a day at a time only to find out that his love was involved with the Mafia…

A day came when he was on a run from the police; he was able to save a drowning Inspector Katano played by Naoto Takenaka (Sword of a Stranger) from a tunnel to which led frequent encounters. But life got worse when his brother Jie from another international rising star Daniel Wu (The Banquet) was beaten twice by the Japanese Mafia and the Taiwan Gang. He took to the streets all his anger and with his friends, they stood up against the oppression and discrimination they got everyday! Out of pity and determined to be a somebody, he took the life of a criminal with his so called friends and made money out of illegal means. From stealing goods, racket profiteering and gambling. I have to commend Daniel on this end, he has a wide range versatility in playing his character from being mild mannered, the resentful attention seeker and lastly to the egotistic angry man who became a pawn in this on-going conflict!

At one point he even overheard an assassination attempt of the leader of the Yakuza Eguchi depicted by Masaya Kato (The Crying Freeman) the husband of his lost lover only to save him from these people. Soon, he was tasked to kill people as well, specifically the leaders of the Mafia and got his part of the deal… to be a valid citizen and run his own business, all went well (so it seems)! Soon, they got establishments and were able to put up their own businesses; they even were able to control a large part of the district. Setting an example to his peers that this thing they have should be done now with honest intentions and forget their sinful ways of the past. This is what happens when anyone is at a point of being pushed into a wall, you either surrender to brutality and violence or defend yourself even if it costs your life more so, the loves of your loved ones!

But as time went on, all of his friends became greedy and someone really got worse… his brother Jie became uncontrollable and a heated argument came over before reaching its climactic end. All the Mafia’s members went to one of the Chinese’s establishments with bushido blades, while Steelhead together with Inspector Katano to sets things right with his friends. An argument ensues and all hell breaks loose! While running from the chaos Steelhead was ambushed as he runs for the train station to make a getaway only to be followed by the Inspector inside the tunnels where they first met, redeeming himself he was able to give the Officer a valuable thing just to put an end this civil war!

Dark, violent, less action and with more drama on the onset! Shinjuku Incident provides all of these pieces that makes the premise not only tell the story but to convey the message of people in poverty and the high ruling class of society!

This was surreal coming from events slated with issues about culture that comes with the territory! A very compelling and out of the blue performance by Jackie Chan and the cast, this film even boasts his acting prowess even not providing his usual martial arts repertoire and a scene that doesn’t even relate to the actor’s disposition in cinema making which gives me a wide eyed and jaws agape look throughout the film! People will see a film if it has good talent in it not just because of the story itself, this infuses elements that makes it work and worth to watch. The Director even waited for Jackie to be free in order to star in the film after a long period of time due to his busy schedule and it was worth it!

The Director mentioned that Jackie has been seen by his fans and audiences around the world hundreds of times over while showing his capacity to perform his own stunts, exceptional hand to hand combat fight scenes but most of all his comedic bantering and lines with co-performers is his forte. It’s time to take this to the next level and expose him to other genres like drama and it did not disappoint just as much I appreciate a great comedian in his own right Robin Williams who turned into a paranoid monster in the “One Hour Photo” or for Steve Martin to tackle the world of terrorism in the film “Traitor” in terms of being its Writer was absolute mind blowing!

To fall on depravity seeks better understanding on how life needs to be coursed through, it does not need to be compromised, it is how it works it will always be this way which is why human nature keeps on swinging in a balance just be careful not to tip off the scale or else there will be chaos!

 

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