Archive for April 26th, 2012

Sonny Chiba is back as assassin for hire Tukuma Tsurugi who’s working for the mafia. He’s assigned to silence a person who’s been arrested by the police and is being interrogated by them. To do this, Tsurugi deliberately gets himself arrested in a bike chase. At the police station Tsurugi breaks free from his arresting officers, finds his intended target and rips out his vocal chords before escaping from the prison and into a waiting car. The mafia is trying to build a large martial arts academy by laundering money from home and abroad and using the name of Tukuma’s old friend Matsuoka. When Matsuoka finds out about this, the mafia ask Tsurugi to snuff him out.  He refuses as it violates his code of honour. The mafia decide Tsurugi’s usefulness is over and places him on their list for termination.  But the mafia have made a mistake as Tsurugi is not a man that they want to mess with and his payback will be marked with copious amounts of blood! And if things weren’t complicated enough for Tsurugi, an old enemy returns with revenge on his mind.

This sequel (the 2nd in the trilogy) is actually an improvement of sorts on the first movie with more ridiculous OTT action and gore. On saying that though it’s obvious that the filmmakers were desperately trying to pad out the movie and prolong the running time by adding some blue sepia tinted flashback scenes from the first movie and some karate dojo training stuff. It seems to me that Tsurugi has mellowed out a little too and the hilarious face gurning he did before when psyching himself up has been toned down. Instead he resorts to some deep gutteral sounds as if he’s trying to produce a large phlegm from the back of his throat!!! The violent fight scenes are brilliant with great choreography. You just have to see the part when he punches somebody in the back of his head so hard the unfortunate guy’s eyeballs come out! So hilarious! Once the plot has been laid out, the action is relentless with the mafia attacking Tsurugi at a ski resort, a sauna and use a femme fatale to bed him so that she can stab him. There’s no peace and quiet for the poor guy! Prepare to suspend your disbelief during the police station breakout as Tsurugi not only manages to kick everybody’s ass in the station but he also smashes part of a solid wall with his legs no less so that he can jump through a window which has bars, fall down onto a parked car before escaping in a getaway vehicle. The final fight at the mafia’s HQ is also extremely good and exciting with Tsurugi showing why he’s a one man killing machine. It’s obvious for those that like their old school anime that you can see The Street Fighter’s influence in the Fist Of The North Star movie as it displays the same kind of bloody violence. The character of Ken is basically Tsurugi.

Sonny Chiba is superb as Tsurugi and pulled in a better performance than the previous movie. Even though he’s still an anti-hero, he’s definitely more likeable than before. I just didn’t like his female side-kick at all. She was incredibly annoying. It was good to see Masashi Ishibashi return as Tsurugi’s mortal enemy who he thought he had killed. Their duel was a bit disappointing, I expected it to be longer and more interesting than it was. The big boss in this movie isn’t that good plus he doesn’t even have the image of a mafia boss. He has a dumb name in Don Costello and is quite a weak character!

Overall, Return Of The Street Fighter was an entertaining non-stop OTT movie if you like your action thick and fast. Roll on with the last in the trilogy – The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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