VIOLENT COP remains a stunning debut feature. It must have genuinely stunned, being as it is a fierce and destabilizing portrait of cold and cruel gangland warfare, as good as if not better than anything by Kinji Fukasaku (who was originally meant to direct it), directed by an ever-present comedian and TV personality. And of course it is funny, gleefully so (if nonetheless resolutely deadpan). A master arrives.
Kitano's first is not as developed, yet has quirks in terms of style and the usual dark humor. It's also scattershot in flair, ultimately seeming routine in terms of plot and non-affecting in terms of story. Kitano often communicates emotion sans dialogue, but when the camera lingers on him in this one he seems more robotic, rather than a tortured soul. The flippantly violent and bleak finale is memorable, though.
What starts as a black comedy police flick progresses into a story about two inhumanly bloodthirsty lunatics hell-bent on burning the world down around the other. Mean as hell, almost comically cynical. A Jim Thompson-style morality play from the 1980s that couldn't have come from anywhere but Japan.
Or "Believed Violent," (a better title). "Dirty Harry" with consequences, populated with archetypes who bleed. It's marvelously, meticulously composed, and elegantly photographed, but it also plays fast and loose; invigoratingly unpredictable and stirringly nihilistic. Kitano has since dismissed his powerful debut as amateurish, but it is truly anything but. A masterpiece.
Pas le meilleur Kitano. On aime les personnages, on aime retrouver ce personnage hirsute, qui emmerde tout, violent mais avec une droiture bien à lui. Mise en scène rien de folichon et un scénario qui s'emmêle un peu.
Kitano's first work is a mindblowing study into the nurture of violence, in it's mechanisms, it's social context and it's reproduction. With a more than almost deterministic chain of cause&effect Kitano pushes us down the road, constantly showing recripocal, structural character of violence. There is no crime movie, no riddles, just violence - and a masterpiece of perspective.