Monday, October 10, 2016
'Violent Cop' BD A Rogue Japanese Detective with a Yen for Violence
Film Movement Classics continues its current trend of making the best bizarre foreign classic films available to American audiences on Blu-ray. The October 11, 2016 releases are the first and second films by Japanese director/actor Takeshi Kitano (a.k.a. Beat Takeshi). His aptly titled first film from 1989 "Violent Cop" has him playing the Asian version of Dirty Harry Mr. Azamo. "Boiling Point," which has a mild-manner gas-station attendant/amateur baseball player getting wrapped up with the criminal yakuza organization, from 1990 is the subject of tomorrow's review.
"Cop," which makes a great companion to the (Unreal TV reviewed) Classic BD release of the German scifi-noir film "Kamikaze '89." begins with a malicious and violent attack by teen delinquents. This assault provides the setting to introduce the equally violent (and unauthorized) but effective law-enforcement tactics of Azuma.
Azuma and his new partner rookie/comic relief Kikuchi soon move on investigating the local drug organization around which most of the film focuses. This one has the typical gritty cop drama elements of Azuma annoying the boss of the organization enough to warrant that cop becoming a target of the killer on the payroll of that legitimate businessman, Azuma learning that a formal trusted colleague is in cahoots with the aforementioned crimelord, and Azuma being ordered to (at least temporarily) turn in his badge and his gun.
Like the aforementioned "Kamikaze," the genius of "Cop" is in the perverse details. The mayhem that Azuma and his foes create well may stray into NC-17 territory. There are blood splatters galore, and both sides in this tale of good vs. evil are equally likely to smash in a skull with a baseball bat or shoot someone apparently for the fun of it.
Additional depth and violence relates to the love of Azuma for his fragile sister. An early scene regarding this hilariously has Azuma enhancing the walk of shame of the one-night stand of said sibling by kicking and slapping him for several blocks and then demanding that said young man do right by the sister.
Said crime organization receives a much harsher lesson regarding the need to not mess with the sister when their response to multi-faceted humiliation/harassment by Azuma prompt them to make this personal. The ensuing climatic mayhem is one basis for the semi-domesticated partner of your not-so-humble reviewer to observe that "Cop" is incredibly cynical. Suffice it to say that not many (if any) folks live happily ever after.
The extras include the Classic exceptional standard of a documentary on Kitano and an insightful essay on "Cop." Both works discuss how this former comic with multiple issues (and perhaps just as a many personalities) comes to make this very gritty drama.
The 20-minute documentary, which is worthy of an independent release, particularly goes into depth regarding Kitano the man and the filmmaker. The two participants are a colleague from Kitano's days as a standup comedian and TV funnyman and the actor who plays Kikuchi. The latter provides fascinating behind-the-scenes insight regarding filming "Cop."
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Cop" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,