NEW RESTORATION | The explosive directorial debut of Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Fireworks/Hana-bi) came as a surprise: Kitano, under his stage name “Beat” Takeshi, had hitherto been known (and hugely popular) as a motor-mouthed comedian and ubiquitous TV personality in Japan. Kitano’s fast-paced, hard-boiled thriller casts the director himself — or, rather, alter-ego “Beat” Takeshi — as Azuma, a laconic, Dirty Harry-like cop battling yakuza gangsters and corrupt police officials following the suicide of a colleague and the kidnapping of his own sister. Kitano picked up the director’s reins after Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) exited the project; his stylistic touches, including moody long takes and Erik Satie music, elevate the film above typical genre fare and anticipate the internationally-acclaimed auteur to come. “Electrifying entertainment” (Tony Rayns, Time Out). “With deadpan wit, moral ambiguity, and flashes of extreme violence, it signaled the arrival of a major and new talent” (David Wood, BBC).
"Sharp, shocking ... Violent Cop packs a punch."New York Times | full review