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    April 7, 2009


    MANDARIN/JAPANESE - (18PL) - 02 April 2009 - Drama/Action
    Distributor: JCE Movie Limited, GSC
    Running time:
    about 112 mins.
    Director: Derek Yee
    Producers: Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Solon So
    Writers: Derek Yee, Chun Tin-Nam
    Casts: Daniel Wu, Fan Bingbing, Jack Kao, Jackie Chan, Lam Suet, Masaya Kato, Xu Jinglei
    Plot: In the early 1990's, a tractor mechanic from China nicknamed Steelhead illegally enters Japan to search for his girlfriend. To make ends meet, he joins his friend in Shinjuku in doing menial labour. Steelhead finds out that his girlfriend has married Eguchi, a Japanese Yakuza leader. Steelhead decides to stay on in Japan and work for Eguchi as a hitman. Soon, Steelhead gets used to the power and finds himself embroiled so deeply in the ways of the underworld that there is no turning back.


    Green Tea says:

    WARNING SPOILER! Never in out life we have seen Jackie Chan in a more serious and less fighting action on a movie! This is the chance and the first time he did so, together with a fine artistic and smoky director, Derek Yee, it was a success that many hope this will be one of the greatest movie in his list of filmography. His first foray venture into drama pays off for Jackie Chan. Forget about his stunt choreographed moves, but remember how hands and heads been chopped and pierced through. He even go ahead and describe that this is a 1% action and 99% drama.

    Set in 1990s, to highlight the massive immigrants from China to Japan, a period just shortly before the booming economy in China. Steelhead (Jackie Chan) smuggled himself into Japan in order to find his lover of his life and met his old buddy Jie (Daniel Wu). However, his heart was crushed when he found out that his lover Xiu Xiu (Xu J L) has married a mob boss or the Yazuka
    leader Eguchi. Steelhead rescued Eguchi from one assassination attempt on the leader by his enemy and he is brought into the world of Japanese Yazuka gangsterisme.

    The story which reported have been in making for the last 10 years has materialize some of the important cultural shock, racism and friendship themes. While in this period, the Chinese were migrating to Japan to earn a living but under some difficult oppression as they were foreigner in others' land. It perfectly shows a massive cultural shock for them but at the same time the need to stay together even in times of troubles.

    The subject matter in this movie is very dark, deep and realistic. Such themes require deep socio-politic-psychological research to make a hell good of it. The director did. Over the years, other movies by the Yee were well-praised for their darker and realism nature. Besides these traits, one can also easily points out how good anti-heroism concept can fit into this movie as well. Jackie these days dealt a lot on anti-heroism theme - take Rob-B-Hood and New Police Story for example. In this movie, Steelhead is not a strong leader but he somehow bring everyone together although his sometimes flawed decision makes him an imperfect. Nobody is perfect!!

    This movie gives Jackie Chan one of the best, memorable and much adhere performance in recent time; solid ever since his New Police Story. Jackie does not fight as much as he used to be in his earlier days. When he involve in any of the fighting scenes, you hardly notice any stuntman-a-la-carte type of effects can be seen. He stay true to the character; where we know that gangsters fight without any kungfu skills.

    Perhaps the most surprising role would be Daniel Wu's Jie. He transformed dramatically and subsequently he is good. Although there is no Ken Watanabe for the movie, Naoto Takenaka is simply a good consolation. It is great to see how strong these actors and actress were gripping their character well, while ample sympathy and empathy were sprinkled onto them by Yee.

    The movie is highly graphic and may not be suitable for most whom are timid. Things can get very bloody with chopping and piercing. Seriously, the movie cannot work without these scenes too because the mood can ruined just by that. Also, a great cinematography work that displays Shinjuku area in Tokyo as a bloody violence area that can be calm and warm at the same time. Though-provoking as it is, this is a highly recommended!!

    THE RATINGS.....
    - 4.5 stars

    STORY - 4.5 stars
    CINEMATOGRAPHY - 4.0 stars
    EFFECTS - 4.0 stars
    an overall>> 4.0 stars
    GreenTea-O-Meter: 17.4


    1. i watched the movie and i must say its so freaking bloody and violent.. but yea.. without those scenes the movie cant be complete.

      Prefer confession of a shopaholic tho..hehe

    2. wah a lot of blood? =X

      lucky i never watched...that day my bf wanted to watch with me...

      i still rmb new police story was quite gory. =S


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