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Review

Harry says you've never seen Jackie Chan like he is in SHINJUKU INCIDENT!

Currently in release is a Jackie Chan performance unlike any other in his 100+ film career. In SHINJUKU INCIDENT, Jackie Chan doesn’t use martial arts. He isn’t a comedic character. He isn’t even a good guy. He is frankly a thug, a gang leader and a man caught in a spiraling out of control situation that just gets nasty and bad. In a way, Jackie Chan in SHINJUKU INCIDENT reminds me of some of the great casting against types in film history. Like Henry Fonda in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST or Jimmy Stewart in THE NAKED SPUR – every likable trait is turned on its ear. Jackie Chan plays a man, who has fled his native country of China and literally washes ashore in Japan, not far from Tokyo with a boatload of illegal immigrants that are attempting to find a new life in the underbelly of Tokyo. Because they know nobody in this country but each other, they bind together. Learning the games one can succeed at in the streets to get ahead. Which, of course, leads them on a path to criminal activities. These Chinese strangers become tight, they form a gang – and although Jackie’s Steelhead wants a regular life, he finds himself leading his gang. Partly to help watch out for his brother, who has no nerves or stomach for the tension of illegal life, Steelhead tries to keep his brother at arm’s length. And Jackie’s entire performance is informed by his career as a nice guy tells you he can do it. The career that we’ve all followed is the baggage we see hanging on Jackie. But in this film, you can see the good guy in Jackie. The humble man that just wishes to lead a quiet humble life, but he keeps having to be the man that steps up to protect those around him. And not with showy martial arts. No, Steelhead can’t bounce off every surface and triple kick his opponents in the face. No, he’s the sort of thug that walks up behind you and puts a bullet in your skull. He’s the sort that gets everyone fired up to take revenge while holding steel pipes, a chunk of lumber, a machete or an axe. He will bludgeon his enemies to death. In many ways, SHINJUKU INCIDENT feels like a 1930’s Gangster film, that is all about a charismatic young tough guy that takes the opportunity to become a big shot, but unlike all of those films that Warner Brothers put out – Jackie doesn’t relish his position. You get the idea that Jackie’s character knows that he shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing, he hates it and it seems like he knows it is all going to end badly, and yet he’s compelled to moving forward. This isn’t a great stylistic movie, instead it is shot pretty plainly. The story is very old school, but the results are devastating. It really makes street gangs seem like a natural or organic end to people in the situation these characters find themselves in. The other actors and characters are not any better than they need to be, but Jackie is amazing. Amazing because I found myself thinking of Paul Muni as I watched Jackie Chan. Do not let this film escape your view if you’ve been a fan of Jackie Chan. This is absolutely unique in his career and if you’re a filmmaker, it could very well give one ideas about how to use Jackie differently than we’ve seen. Turns out there’s a great actor in there that doesn’t need all the astonishing physical abilities that he’s spent 4 decades exhibiting. In terms of pure acting performance, this may be his very best work.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 20, 2010, 10:54 p.m. CST

    I've tried that double jump he does

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Well over a 1000 times, and I've only ever pulled it off once. And I think that might be because I happened to catch an edge in the wall.<p> How in Crom's name does that bastard do it?!!?!? I need to know.

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    A new Jackie Chan movie? Does he babysit?

    by SoylentMean

    or wear a tuxedo? The best recent Jackie Chan movie I've seen was The Forbidden Kingdom. That movie was fuckin' great.

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11 p.m. CST

    seppuku

    by nico_laos

    Try asking Crom directly. If he doesn't answer..... then to hell with him!

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11 p.m. CST

    I got three letters for ya Harry...

    by SoylentMean

    D<P> V<P> D<P>

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Welcome back Harry! We've missed you.

    by vic twenty

    Have you seen any good movies lately?

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Jackie Chan= Me Skeptical...

    by Turd Furgeson

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Jackie take yourstepdaddys advice

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    ...somehow get in a movie wit Taratino... it will revitalize your career and put you into somethin automatically "cool"...

  • Feb. 20, 2010, 11:58 p.m. CST

    And i hope Harry didnt see my

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    AintItCaponeNews joke... i couldnt afford to be banned because im too lazy to create a new yahoo account... but coincidentally he posted somethin today after i made those jokes...

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    seppukudkurosawa...

    by darth_ghidorah85

    what movie did jackie chan double jump in? i have to see it! lol

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:10 a.m. CST

    I thought...

    by The_Recruiter

    New Police Story was fairly good. Not great, but at least he was not babysitting or hanging with Jennifer Love Hewwitt..

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:14 a.m. CST

    And shinjuku is nice...

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    ...did pretty good once in a pachinko bar over there...but then again i did plenty bad there other times

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    See, Harry? This is what happens when you don't go on some weird, wacky tangents, or write a drunken review; you actually show us something cool you like that I now want to check out for myself, and you back it up with multiple reasons why. Good for you.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    .

    by seppukudkurosawa

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST

    You can see it in a bunch of his movies

    by seppukudkurosawa

    He finds himself blocked off by a huge, 15ft high wall. And before the evil sonsovbitches chasing him manage to catch up to him, he pulls off this miraculous double jump to the top of the wall, where most likely he'll jump onto a tree on the other side or something.<p> He's like the David Copperfield of chopsocky flicks (although way less hacky).

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 1:36 a.m. CST

    I can recomed this one

    by mcavity

    Its a fairly gritty movie. this is not a "human cartoon" to show your kids. Jackie Chan does a good job.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Wow. I have to catch this one.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 6:12 a.m. CST

    This is already out on DVD in Germany for a while.

    by RedEgiraahgnal

    Under the pretty generic name "Stadt der Gewalt"(City Of Violence).

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Some of us seen Jackie Chan serious before

    by ishinshi

    I find that Harry delves into hyperbole when he says "like we never seen him before", when in fact Jackie Chan attempted more serious roles before, such Crime Story (1993)which is now part of the Dragon Dynasty collection. To be honest I found this movie to be so-so as I found in this movie was Jackie Chan to be this film's weakest link. Granted it is nice to see him deviate from his standard slap-stick chop-socky fare given the fact that he is pusing 60, and cannot push the same physical limits he has in the past. But the fact remains that this movie draws on his immense star-power from Asia, yet it seems unfitting that he should be in the lead role more suited to someone who is 10-20 years his junior. The film is very insightful in its portrayal of the Chinese diaspora and migrant Chinese workers in Japan, and the depiction of graphic violence sort of paralells the one seen in Japanese gangster films, such as those by Takashi Miike. It is not an issue of older actors should play younger parts (see him in Drunken Master 2) or Jackie shouldnt expand his craft, but the fact that he plays a stoic, flawed, naive, and vunerable hero without his usual Keaton-esqe chop-socky antics. What this film is offering "Jackie Chan" without what we have come to love about Jackie Chan.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    reminds me the Scarface story

    by ominus

    jackie chan as scarface.heh. and ishinshi is right,Chan has played serious roles before like in the last Crime Story where he losts all this team and becomes a drunk,and in Gorgeous which is about him getting old.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Jackie Chan in a Tarantino movie???

    by ominus

    FUCK YES,outstanding idea you get there mate.Tarantino,who is a huge fan of Chan,is the only one who can revive his career.A kung fu movie made by Q,and starring Chan,holy crap.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    This is a great movie

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    Jackie Chan is Jesus Christ, I constantly ask myself "but what would JC do" in this situation, gets me into alot of trouble.<p> And I think Jackie should be in the next Indy movie as a grown up Shortround. Helping Jonesy on some asian quest. I always imagined his Armour of God/Operation Condor character as Shortround so why not use Jackie as Indys next sidekick and make full use of him. He'd be better than Mutt and Winston going "JONESSSEEEYYY"

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Jackie as Short Round is the greatest idea ever!!!!

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Where do I send the check BadlyDubbedPorn?

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    i believe he will do a really great job in KK

    by ominus

    he may not become the miyagi of the new genetarion,but i believe he will deliver with his role.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Lol Thanks NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    and I am totally serious, I think that would be a perfect way for Jackie to end his Hollywood career, then he can go back and make his awesome Asian movies.<p> Also Jackies characters nearly always go serious near the climax of alot of his movies, usually when hes entering the bad guys lair and kicking their asses. Like the guy above who said, he has done a few full on serious rolls, Heart of The Dragon I think its called springs to mind the one where Sammo Hung's his deaf and dumb brother.<p> Also his next one Little Big Soldier looks great too. Anyone know if its "avalible" anywhere online yet?

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 9:21 a.m. CST

    And Karate Kid does look pretty good

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    I mean come on it's the Karate Kid, it wasn't like the greatest movie ever in the first place. (sorry to Cobra Kai if he sees this)

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    I had to re-read this sentence three times

    by Doggus47

    "And Jackie’s entire performance is informed by his career as a nice guy tells you he can do it."

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Jackie as Miyagi is brilliant

    by ishinshi

    I kinda stand by my view that Jackie is kinda of a miscast because Harry relates this film to 30s gangster movies, which I agree to an extent, but usually the protagonists in those films go into excess and suffer as a result of their "rise to the top" (a by-product of the Production Code). But Jackie's flaw was that he abandoned his group to live a normal life, which seems more like John Woo/ Chow Yun Fat territory. Because he remains so righteous in the movie, he sorta ressembles the onscreen persona we all know. Im not sayin he should snort a mound of coke or go on a murder spree, but I find his character kinda lacks an edge... And whoever casted him as the Miyagi character is genius, because I cant see anyone else without seeing the typical (but still great) asian/sensei actors in Hollywood (Mako, Pat Morita, James Hong... or even Chow Yun-Fat [not sure after Dragonball])

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I must see this

    by Wordage

    The only question is...how...how or when is this being released?

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    fuck this

    by ORIONgods

    wheres the jackie chan adventures movie

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Over a year old and it's Derek Yee that

    by picardsucks

    brings out the brilliance in jackie. Derek Yee made Protege a film you should all see as well. This film is nearly two years old now. The Daniel Wu hand chopping scene was a bit over the top though

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    That Daniel Wu scene

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    shocked me more than anything in shite like Saw or Hostel, because it was totaly unexpected and violent, also his final scene.

  • Feb. 21, 2010, 6:21 p.m. CST

    WE HAVE GANGS ON TALKBACKS TOO

    by BringingSexyBack

    I got my crew's back and if anyone fucks with them, I'll murder the fucker.

  • Feb. 22, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Fareal, get real.

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Jackie Chan was born, raised and has spent his life working in China. It's no surprise that he wouldn't speak out against a government that systematically indoctrinates the populace and silences dissent with an iron fist. Especially since he likely feels he owes his success and fame to the nation of his birth. It's part self-preservation and part loyalty. Jackie Chan saying "F. You" to his native land, the country of his largest and most loyal fanbase, and likely the most powerful economic power on the planet will only destroy his career, not change China's government or policies.<p>And what's this nonsense about "I won't waste money to see him in a movie again"??? Did you just find OUT about China's brutality??? It's been in high gear for over 60 years! If you didn't have a problem with Jackie BEFORE, I don't understand why you'd suddenly have a problem with his films now. Give the guy a break!

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Get this on Blu-ray

    by dunderklumpen

    I liked the film, and it looks frigging amazing in high def.

  • Feb. 24, 2010, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Engrish is mine pussy's frist language

    by Clean_Vageena

    This movie soundings like a chinese menu item. Will it titilate my vageena? Ha Ha! I sayed tit!

  • Feb. 25, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Saw this in Thai-dubbed Chinese

    by Teddy Artery

    More than a month ago. It looked pretty good and I got most of what was going on. Jackie is likeable, but he doesn't play a person you'd want to know personally. It's a good change of character on his part and he's moving himself into the dramatic roles he wants.

  • Feb. 26, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Those who are familiar with Derek Yee's formula will probably en

    by thanasis1

    Not quite as good as Derek Yee's previous release 'protege', but still it suceeds as a commercial thriller. Watch with lower expectations and you'll probably come out with a bit of a win.

  • March 5, 2010, 7:46 p.m. CST

    the scar ridden rival

    by Beniffer

    good movie .. liked the story even. Little Violent.

  • March 6, 2010, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Jackie is 55. Harrison Ford is 67.

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    No way Short Round is that close in age to Indy. Them standing next to each other...they would look more like partners than teacher/student. They would have to CG Jackie's face all over the place.

  • March 7, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    you have a horrible read on 30s gangster films

    by MrBlackJackBauer

    most of them too, dont relish their position. in the beginning you may hear them wishing they could have a shot, a real shot at the big times without having to be some lousy good for noithing. but they take what they can, and make the best of it. it is actually the same kind of story.

  • March 19, 2010, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Jackie Chan the explorer

    by DoctorSubmarine

    That's the Jackie Chan we have never seen before.

  • March 27, 2010, 7:20 p.m. CST

    China will change. Or end up like Russia.

    by BixbySnyder

    Bankrupt.

  • May 21, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Indy 5: The Final Adventure

    by Apple Octopus

    Start Indy 5 in the present day at Jones' funeral. Jackie, as short round, retells Indy's last great adventure to Indy's grandson, in movie that's 90% flashback. How about it?

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST

    test

    by lostboytexas

    gliscameria HIGH-O-METER<p> ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░ 90%