Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Showdown in Little Tokyo

While I don't really write about it here very often, I'm a pretty big fan of trashy B-movies. I find it absolutely amazing that I'd never seen this one, and never had it recommended to me, and actually wound up watching it because I had mistaken it for something else that was recommended to me.
When you see Dolph Lungren and Brandon Lee together, you know the movie isn't going to be good. Fortunately, everyone involved appears to know the movie is crap, and just tries to have as much fun with it. The same director also did Commando, and he brings some of the same gloriously over the top sensibilities to it. The script also is just a bit better than it should be, mostly by making the white guy the Japanese expert, and the Asian guy hilariously Americanized. This is among the most accurate portrayals of Japanese crime culture on film, except when it gets everything hilariously wrong; it frequently manages both in the same scene, as if the prep was done by people who knew their stuff, but the finishing touches were done by an entirely different crew. For reasons beyond my capacity to understand, Dolph Lungren has the single best Japanese accent I've ever seen on a white guy in a movie. The subtitles also have absolutely nothing to do with most of the Japanese lines. Clearly written with the same improvisational what the fuck that produced the scene below, which you've probably heard quoted without knowing what it was from.

3 comments:

  1. "The same director also did Commando, and he brings some of the same gloriously over the top sensibilities to it."

    Fucking sold.

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  2. I just rewatches this on TV the other day, I love this movie. It's so bad, but it's one of the most fun 90s pulp romps I've seen, and it's got fucking Shao Kon and The Hun as the villains, plus Dolph Lungren and Brandon Lee are badass. I was always laughing, too, about how it could be 'wow, fighting in a bathhouse, how hilaariuosly right!' to 'wow, they act like traaditional samurai in their meetings, how hilariously wrong!'

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  3. The bathhouse itself is another example; everyone wearing fundoshi, and the water six feet deep with naked chicks in there with them. And Brandon Lee, "The water must be out at their place cause they all just went to take a bath together."

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