Hey folks, Valkor here. And I’m very excited about this next review as it’s my first time to review a film starring Jackie Chan. Nope not a Rush Hour film, though in some sick, twisted way I hope he and Chris Tucker get together for another installment. But until then let’s take a look at “San Suk Si Gin” or better known as “Shinjuku Incident”
In Shinjuku Incident, Chan plays tractor driver Steelhead, who longs for his girlfriend, Xiu Xiu (Jinglei Xu). She went off to Japan to stay with an aunt and earn some dough. But Steelhead finds out from his brother Jie (played remarkably well by Daniel Wu) that Xiu Xiu has up and vanished, never to be heard from again. So Steel boards a boat with other immigrants, which ends up crashing on the shores of Japan. Alone on the streets Steelhead somehow finds his way to his brother Jie, who along with other Chinese immigrants, must struggle to survive doing the lowliest of jobs. During a clean up in the sewers Steelhead and his Chinese brothers have a run in with the cops, which in turn Steel ends up saving one of the cops, Inspector Kitano (Naoto Takenaka). Trust me this plays into something big at the end. But continuing the story, Steel, while working with his brother Jie doing waiter work at a party, finds Xiu Xiu who is now married and goes by the name Yuko Eguchi, married to Japanese mob boss Toshinari Eguchi (Masaya Kato). Seeing his wife with another man, Steelhead sets out on a new life for himself, starting with making money; this means doing illegal shit like rigging pachinko machines and stealing. However his brother Jie isn’t met for this kind of life and Steelhead helps him to achieve his goal of running a chestnut cart. Later, Jie not once but twice is given the beatdown; the second time it’s because the mob boss, a Taiwanese who owns the pachinko machines Jie and his peeps were rigging, finds the chip they were using and makes an example of Jie. And it’s painful one at that. In seeking revenge for his brother Steelhead sneaks into the bosses club, only to witness Eguchi there making some kind of deal, but the Boss actually tries to kill Eguchi, however Steelhead saves his life. And this is when things go up a bit, then goes down really fast as Steel learns… well to never make a deal with the Devil; you’ll only get burnt.
I’m not gonna go any further into the story, to do that would really spoil a truly great film, one that every guy should check out. I find it fascinating that this is the first time I’ve ever watched a Jackie Chan film, where he doesn’t break out into Kung Fu, though in a few scenes you’d swear he might. And now on with the review.
First this film is bad ass. Not in a mindless, action pack sorta way, but bad ass in the sense that here is a film that grabs your interest from the very beginning, holds on to you by building suspense in all the right places, and takes you on a wild ride until coming full stop at the climatic end. It’s well rounded, well paced and very well acted. Chan plays tragic hero Steelhead to perfection, right down to his somber expressions; you can’t help but to feel sorry for him. But breakout hit of the film goes out to Daniel Wu as Jie, who starts out all meek and innocent, who suddenly becomes this bad ass, and rightfully so. Wu hams it up nicely when he kicks in with his bad ass persona; I wanted to see more! But overall I think the entire cast did their part as you’re totally sucked into the story that pits Chinese vs. Japanese, in a battle over territory. Great job!
There’s not a damn thing I can say negative about this film. Not a damn thing.
When Jie meets his end. UGH!
If you’re a fan of Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu films, then you might, just might not wanna give this a go because he doesn't perform any martial arts. However I highly recommend "Shinjuku Incident" to any and all who are fans, not only of his films, but are in search of the perfect crime drama. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give Shinjuku Incident a perfect score of 5 stars and it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.