HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  American Yakuza Buy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: Frank A. Cappello
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Ryo Ishibashi, Michael Nouri, Franklyn Ajaye, Yuji Okumoto, Cristina Lawson, Robert Forster, Nicky Katt
Genre: Action
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Former convict David Brandt’s job at the cardboard box factory is a career with real prospects – because after foiling an attempt on a Yakuza, gang’s lives, he becomes an honorary member! Now helping out with the gang’s day to day criminal activities, such as arms dealing and… well, arms dealing!), gang heavyweight Mr Shuji is indebted to him after he saved his life and treats him like a brother, even giving him a posh flat with all the trimmings, the horniest chick ever to come out of Japan, and even allows him to call him Shu – apparently, from anyone else this would have been an insult punishable by death! But there’s another side to David Brandt because, guess what folks, he’s actually Nick Davis, special FBI agent, at your service America!!! Well I fucking NEVER!!!

But you expected that though, didn’t you, just like you’ll see everything else coming in this predictable but fairly fun action thriller from Frank A. Cappello. Playing like an extended, gorier version of your average TV cop show – lots of shooting, a few stunts here and there, love interest, conscience-wrestling, inner-conflicts and a ridiculously unlikely storyline - American Yakuza is a valiant, but ultimately unnecessary attempt to bring the high-adrenalin excitement of Asian cinema to a conservative western mass-market audience, and of course falls somewhat short of the mark. Lead man Viggo Mortensen’s soft-voice and good looks might make him an ideal hormone-sizzler for the nine-o-clock chick flick but does him little good at the end of a gun and, in any case, his mediocre characterless role gives him nothing much to work with. Any attempt by Cappello to add a little creative flair is very misguided and amateurish – that strange, dreamlike editing used to denote a passage of time, for example, really dampens-down the effect of what could be great scenes of Yakuza vengeance against the other side. And speaking of missed opportunities, Cappello – unlike his Japanese counterparts – is loathe to “go all the way,” in particular a scene where a gang traitor is ready to be run through a woodchipping machine, but these pussy-footing lightweight so-called gangsters let him off the hook at the last minute and just shoot him through the head instead! What a disappointment!

Apparently this film was made with the full co-operation of the Yakuza, and admittedly it is quite fun - good enough to save the director from being buried beneath a motorway – but it’s just not good enough. Cliched action films like this need to be sensational enough to keep the viewers’ interest and, sadly, this is much too restrained. And as for those claims that Cappello is in the same league as John Woo? Well, put it this way, I wouldn’t climb over Hard Boiled to get to this!
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

This review has been viewed 7289 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: