Friday, May 06, 2005

Violent Cop

Does exactly what it says on the tin...

And yet it must also do a whole lot more as well, because on the basis of the genre and story outline Violent Cop would normally be the last sort of flick to tickle V's fancy; but when the titles rolled she too felt the urge to applaud.

As a directorial debut this was remarkable. And also accidental. Kinji Fukasaku was to have directed but Kitano (already cast as Azuma) took over after re-working the screenplay significantly.

Kitano has a great sense of the little details that reveal character, such as the moment where he shrugs off paying for the taxi he's hired to follow a squad car to a crime scene. When he then asks the colleague that had to settle up with the drive to hand over yet more cash, the unfortunate man makes a noise rather like the sound Yoda woukd make doing one of Ali G's "aiiiiiieeee"s. Very amusing.

V was captivated by Azuma's me pela attitude, and by his oddly dispassionate fits of violence. Last Saturday the beeb aired an episode of Doctor Who that might have been titled 'Violent Pepperpot'. It featured a lone Dalek troubled by the thought that there might be more to life than the endless routine of extermination.

The Daleks and the Japanese are impassive by design, but Takeshi Kitano has an enormous range of non-verbal tricks for expressing existential apprehension. All the Dalek could do was droop its eyestalk, flicker its lights weakly and enunciate with haulting diction...a rather lame spectacle it was too. Kitano's angsters retain their brutal vitality.

The soundtrack of Violent Cop is superb - the electronic version of Satie's Gnossienne No.1 that runs with the titles and the smooth, relaxed dinner jazz that incongruously supports a frenzied chase scene.

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