Violent Cop (1989) / Thriller-Drama
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but definitely R for strong, bloody violence, rape, and drug content
Running Time: 116 min.
Cast: Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shiro Sano
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Screenplay: Takeshi Kitano
Review published January 7, 1998
In Japan, a rogue Dirty Harry-style cop (Kitano, Battle Royale) known for his penchant for beating suspects for information (or just for fun), is out to take town a drug ring and discovers one of his colleagues is involved. His unsavory interrogation tactics gets him booted off the force, and now that his sister has been kidnapped by the baddies, he is a man without bounds and out for vengeance.
Violent Cop is an intriguing yet seriously flawed cop thriller that raises some interesting themes but fails to deliver on them with success. Star and first-time director Kitano offers some stylish moments, but the film is marred by too many needless scenes (and especially needlessly long scenes).
The film has about three genuinely good moments and it's unfortunate that Kitano takes far too long getting to each of them, slumbering though some ridiculously long shots of Kitano and others walking and walking and walking. On the whole, it's disappointingly uninvolving, so if you have a yen to see cops beating up criminals, watch Dirty Harry instead.
©1998 Vince Leo