Friday, July 10, 2015
Cops vs Thugs (1975) New York Asian Film Festival 2015
Bunta Sugawara plays a cop who is well known in the underworld as being an approachable guy. He knows everyone who is a crook or corrupt and he likes it that way. When a gang war starts, brought on by a politician who was once a gangster and now sees a way to make a killing in a land deal, Bunta finds himself between a rock and a hard place- a feeling made worse by the arrival of a gangbusting honest cop brought in by the crooked politician to turn the tide way from Bunta's friends.
This incredibly violent, no one is truly good film will leave you with your mouth hanging open. What sick mind came up with this film? The only things I can compare it to are Fukasau's other films or the work of Quentin Tarantino who seems to have stolen it's mix of comedy, drama and smart ass remarks.This film just starts violent and then ups the ante at every turn as people are beaten shot stabbed and god knows what else. You'll laugh at the excess, at the same time wincing at the nastiness of it all. While it is very funny the film is ultimately real bleak since the film seems to have a laughing on the way to hell attitude.
As much as I love the film (I gave it 9 out of 10 at IMDB) I hate that the plot of the film fades in the middle of the film before disappearing in the final third. Frankly this film makes so little sense as to induce headaches when you try to sort out all the plot holes, lost threads, random events and WTF actions. There was a point where I just threw up my hands and just went with it. While I admire its anything can and will attitude I hate that things just happen and it kind of keeps it off my all time great list.
Regardless the opening of the film where we meet Bunta is probably the greatest sequence of bad assery I've ever seen. Game set and Match to Bunta in the battle of movie bad asses-he tops even Eastwood in Dirty Harry as he takes on four mobsters who didn't pay for their sushi. Its beyond classic and is simply one of the greatest introductions ever put on film EVER.
While you missed the film at NYAFF it is on DVD and streaming so there is no excuse not to have you mind blown by this killer crime film.