Plot: Steelhead is an illegal Chinese immigrant in Japan who comes to Tokyo to find his childhood sweetheart Xiu Xiu. He teams up with a group of Chinese workers who help him get a roof, some manual labour and sharing a tricks on how to survive living shadowy live. Life in Japan isn’t easy; the Chinese work at odd jobs, but have to bolt every time the cops show up for an illegal worker raid. From other side, they are constantly oppressed by Japanese yakuza gangs. Soon Steelhead discovers that Xiu Xiu has adopted a Japanese identity and married Eguchi, an ambitious up and coming yakuza chief.
Steelhead elects for the darker path in order to survive, he wins the respect of his friends by establishing a base for them and forms an uneasy alliance with Eguchi. When he helps Eguchi dispose of a rival, he is given the control of Shinjuku’s night establishments. But, uninterested in living a gangster’s life, Steelhead finds a new love and takes the chance to start a tractor repair business outside Tokyo. However, his peace is shortlived when word gets to him that his former compatriots were now being used by Eguchi to front the yakuza’s drug business.
«Shinjuku Incident works best as a commercial film, proving entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking, and is only hampered when it attempts to be something greater. Similarly, Jackie Chan is an effective lead, but his reach here exceeds his grasp. In the end, both the film and its lead actor are not as good as they want to be - but they both try very hard.»
«Once again, the acclaimed director makes another fine entry into his repertoire by taking a most interesting subject matter and distilling it into a thought-provoking movie that is equal parts action and drama and just as riveting either way. »
«Shinjuku Incident strains for social significance, but it is too timidly produced to risk depicting any recognizable reality. The movie unquestionably fails as an expose. It is far too candy colored and too audience-baiting to warrant comparisons to a more serious-minded film like Gomorrah. Still, as a standard-issue gangster melodrama, it makes up for such lapses with entertainment value. »
«Derek Yee's direction is strong within individual scenes but fails to mold the unwieldy script into a cohesive whole. As in Yee's previous "Protege," the depiction of gang life aims to explore the machinations of criminal orgs in depth. Drama and characterization both suffer as a result, leaving the pic far short of the "Election" or "Godfather"-like heights to which it aspires»
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