Archive for October 19th, 2012

The Triple Cross (1992)

Three ageing thieves team up with a blond haired young punk in an attempt to steal 200 million yen in hotel takings from an armoured car in Hokkaido, only to find that their plunder is actually an underwhelming 50 million. The young punk betrays his associates as he kills one of them, seriously injures another and steals the cash all for himself whilst going on the run with the young wife of one of the thieves. The one remaining thief left standing swears revenge and relentlessly pursues the young punk.

During the early 90’s, many old stagers that were directing Japanese movies in the 60’s and 70’s were being left behind as new and exciting directors were coming through and showcasing their stylish movies. In the case of Kinji Fukasaku, he wasn’t prepared to just let this happen and retire gracefully. He was in his 60’s when he directed The Triple Cross and his intention was to show Japanese cinema audiences that despite his advancing years he could still make a great action movie and put the new boys to shame. This movie hits the ground running immediately from the start and hardly lets up throughout – there are plenty of violent shootouts and cool car chases. It boasts terrific performances from the 4 main leads which includes Sonny Chiba but it’s Kenichi Hagiwara as Kanzaki that takes the majority of the screen time and it’s this character we follow on his revenge mission. Unfortunately there’s a female character named Mai in this movie who just acts so hyperactive and loud that she really gets on your nerves and is so annoying. I was hoping that she would get bumped off quickly but she survives until the very end. There is one scene which she slightly redeems herself and that sees her grab a machine gun and spray bullets galore on some police cars. The Japanese police force are made to look very foolish – they can’t seem to catch two people in one car no matter how many patrol cars they’ve got chasing them or even blocking their way. So many police cars gets trashed in one way or the other throughout the story including Kanzaki in his 4×4 bulldozing over the top of several cars as he tries to escape from being arrested at the climax.

If Kinji Fukasaku wanted to prove to people that he could hold his own with the new breed of Japanese directors, he did it perfectly with this wild and crazy action movie. The story might not be original as we’ve seen plenty of heist-gone-wrong plots in the past but the sheer energy, fast pace and look of this movie should satisfy the majority of Asian action junkies. Recommended.

No trailer but here’s a small clip:

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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