Had an hour to kill, so I grabbed my "4 Film Favorites Martial Arts Collection" (which I'd gotten for Rumble in the Bronx and Bloodsport, of course) and watched the Dolph Lundgren/Brandon Lee B-movie samurai-cop flick Showdown in Little Tokyo. And when I say an hour, that's very close to the truth. When you take the front and back credits out, there's about 1h10 of story. And that story's pretty slim. A lot of mindless violence that even the characters think is akin to video games'. And yet, it's still pretty amusing. Dolph is a Dirty Harry whose parents were killed by the Yakuza and who dedicated himself to the Way of the Samurai, while Lee is a Valley Boy, trained in the arts, but completely disconnected from his culture. B-movie villainy must of course include uncomfortable misogyny, with a young Tia Carrere playing victim/love interest/bait, but the show at least manages to mix martial arts into the usual boring shoot-outs (it's just something I find incredibly dull in American action cinema). My advice is never thinking of police procedurals while watching this movie, because it's far afield of reality. Just like I won't question anyone thinking Lundgren is in any way a charismatic action star even though I find it completely baffling.

4 years ago

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