19 July 2010

Jackie Chan’s first Oscar worthy performance since, erm...

The Shinjuku Incident - Derek Yee

Being a massive Jackie Chan fan, well of his martial arts work, not his latest amount of releases like The Tuxedo, but Police Story, the original Rush Hour’s, i heard about the newest and supposedly Chan’s best feature film of recent times, The Shinjuku Incident. And now you may be wondering what makes this film different to all the rest, what stands out about it that will want you to rent or buy it and watch it several times. Well it’s because for the first time in Jackie Chan’s career, he’s acting. He’s performing without his moves, without his feet and fists, but with his mind and emotion. It’s a great change for him and shows that Chan is both an acting legend and a fighting legend. With the recent release of the newly remade Karate Kid, Chan (which you’ll find out more about in the next couple of weeks with a review of) clearly takes lessons from this film to add a new dimension to his work, mixing his martial arts background with his newly found acting chops. It’s a refreshing change. And so The Shinjuku Incident deserves its credit and deserves its applause.

The film follows Chan as a Chinese immigrant newly in Japan after searching for his fiancé and living with his “brother”, he finds that life for the Chinese is very difficult in the suburbs of Japan, where police, gangs and regular town folk are against you. After saving a policeman’s life, Chan’s friendly mentality soon changes when he wants to become legal in the country and begins different scamming jobs where he works with his “brothers” and they soon find themselves with more money. Unfortunately one of his scam means trouble for his “brother” Jie, who has his hand sliced off and cuts to his face. After swearing for revenge, Chan goes to the place of the man who did this to his brother, and he cuts of his hand and also saves a leader of one of the biggest gangs in Japan. This leads to Chan being employed for him and a whole heap of trouble erupts. I won’t ruin the ending but it’s pretty amazing how it all ends up. Really does spring up on you. It has an original storyline which makes it even more impressive and for an Asian cinema release, you can tell the American influences in the filmmaking but at the same time defiantly has the feel of Chinese cinema making.

Overall, a great little film that i had no idea about that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. It’s a great introduction into Asian cinema that doesn’t have weird incest storylines or horrific horror involved, well maybe just the scene where the hand gets cut off, but that’s about it really.


Simon Childs

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