Ever since New Police Story I’ve been wanting to see a dark, gritty crime drama starring Jackie Chan and here it finally is; The Shinjuku Incident. It’s directed by Derek Yee and stars Jackie Chan in one of his finest roles. Whereas the Los Angeles Times reviewer stated it would make fans long for Rush Hour 4 I have to say: not this fan.
I realise that many westerners, who are used to Jackie’s family friendly and (in my opinion) overly cuddly American flicks, will react that way. But what it really comes down to is that they won’t realise, or even admit, that Jackie Chan has more to offer than stunning stunts, fabulous fights and hilarious comedy. Jackie Chan is also an actor with more depth than some will allow him to show.
Well, in this movie he shows it – by not being the larger than life legend but by being the actor.
The story is about Steelhead, a Chinese tractor mechanic who goes to Japan to find his long lost love. He soon realises that the promised land isn’t so promised after all – and furthermore that the woman he loves may no longer be who he thinks she is.
Steelhead is very different from the charming good guy characters Jackie Chan usually portraits on film. He’s a fairly decent guy, but he has his weaknesses and will set his moral standards aside if he feels it gains hus cause. When he finds that life has treated him unfair he doesn’t hesitate to chose the shady side of life – or even to commit murder to get what he desires. And in the end he is so involved in the underworld that there is no turning back.
The Shinjuku Incident is a brutal, violent and extremely dark film. There are no happy endings here, only a sharp edge that leaves you with a hurting feeling inside. And it stays on long after you’ve finished watching. Well directed, and with great actors in all roles, it’s one of the best crime dramas I’ve seen in a long time.
And yes, it’s definitely got Jackie’s mark written all over it. But it’s not the mark of the supercop, the stunt genious or the kung fu master. It’s the mark of an excellent actor that I hope to see a lot more from in future.
- Armed with stardom in Asia, Wu eyes return to U.S. (ctv.ca)
- “Jackie Chan in Shinjuku Incident” Opens Nationwide on Feb. 5 (eon.businesswire.com)