Friday, August 24, 2012

A Jackie Chan film with Less Action - Shinjuku Incident

Shinjuku Incident (2009) - Hong Kong
Cast: Jackie Chan, Daniel Wu
Direction: Derek Yee
Genre: Drama, Crime, gangster

Jackie Chan, the action king is the favorite star of most action freaks. He has attracted the kids and teens by the funny actions he does in his films. It’s rare if action freaks don’t like him. Likewise it is rarer if we see him deviating from his usual and typecast action movies. Isn’t it? Yes. After acting in numerous action films and having achieved an unbreakable action hero image, Chan turned his focus towards drama with powerful story and least action. 


 The plot follows the rise and fall of Chinese immigrant workers into gangsters amidst the native Japanese clans. Chan plays Zhao aka Stealhead, an illegal immigrant from a Chinese village among many others, and does odd jobs for living. He wants to get legal status in Japan and protect the fellow immigrants from native gangsters’ assault and law enforces. After a couple of conflicts with native Yakuzas and Thai gangsters, he rises to prominence as the boss of his fellow immigrants.

Shinjuku Incident is a heavy drama with least action. The plot is dark and set in an amazing manner, with Chan in a completely different and ‘never seen before’ performance. He delivers a stand out, laudable performance and steals the show. I must say that this is the best film of Chan’s career. It was produced by Chan himself. I wondered why Chan hasn’t acted in movies like this before. Also this is the most violent of all his movies, with some brutal killings and bloodshed. But it suits very well to the tone of the film. Added to Chan, the supporting cast also gave more than average performance. Chan’s ex lover and his present lover, inspector Kitano, gang leader Eguchi, and fellow immigrant Jie did their roles above the mark. The film tells a moral truth that newly found power and money makes people tend to become corrupt, sinister, and aggressive and lose their control. Trusts, love, deceit, defeat, guilt, regret, all of these are in Shinjuku. The film has more dialogues and emotional expressions rather than fist fights, martial arts and chases. There are of course fights in the movie of course, but not Chan’s usual comical type. 

Chan’s and hardcore action fans may get disappointed if they expect much action like his earlier movies Police Story, First Strike, etc. Those who are very much fond of dramas, this is highly recommended. Please do watch the Hong Kong version. The English dubbing is not so good.

My rating: 8.3/10


  1. I thought 'the karate kid' was also quite a dramatic role for him . I have not heard of this one . Interesting !

    1. 'The Karate Kid' is actually an american production. usually american productions are well marketed despite its quality. and also there is jackie chan and will smith's son. so it got global exposure. but this one is an asian production.. usually most good asian movies don't get wide exposure, like this one..