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Summary: The Chinese migrant communities in Tokyo live shadowy lives. The Japanese neither acknowledge nor welcome them. Steelhead, a tractor repairman from Heilongjian in northern China had decided to take the perilous journey to Tokyo after he lost contact with his girlfriend, who had arrived in the city earlier. Steelhead has come to realize the migrants had to stand united if they wanted to go about their lives without fear of oppression by not only the Japanese underworld but also Chinese gangs. (AsianMediaWiki)
Jackie Chan didn't get the chance to ruin 'serious' movie, this film is no good to begin with. I don't even know where to start criticizing it, because there are so many flaws. Right at the script level it's disjointed and dull, and for the most part is just a recycled version of "One Night In Mongkok". Characters are one-dimensional and unbelievable. Dramatic scenes are simply laughable because of the absurdity of them. Worthless junk.
It was nice seeing Chan in a more dramatic role, but overall this film was a mediocre yakuza movie. The film hints at larger questions about the relationship between immigration and crime, but ultimately choses not to address these issues, and instead provides us with a dull, action packed third act. This film can be most charitably evaluated as a teaser for what Chan is capable of when given a more dramatic role, now I just need to see him in a film that actually attempts to develop characters.
Forget everything you know about Jacky, this is completely different. You expect Chan any moment to break out his kung-fu moves. It gets way more serious, and Chan descends from being neutral to actually becoming a monster himself to fight monsters. The transformation from Jie from silly noob to a typical Japanese weirdo is fascinating to watch. I hope Chan decides to explore these kind of movies more. And as usual, Japanese are fucking weird.
Fairly solidly directed, but this mob drama is full of dull characters and routines and confrontations we've seen many times before in movies from all over the world. It's so by-the-book, it feels like old product under a new name. Jackie Chan can play a serious character, but there is nothing here to back him up and make a worthwhile movie.
It is good to see Jackie Chan in a serious role, and it is an interesting take on Chinese-Japanese relations that avoided potential pitfalls, but the film is just a solid and unspectacular crime story.