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3.6 out of 5 stars24
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2005
i LOVE takeshi kitano films....but this has to have the worst subtitles i have ever seen. and i have seen plenty of foreign language movies! there is a lot of stuff missing and i'm sure that it would enrich the story. my japanese is pretty lame but i could still pick up some glaring omissions!!
i'd say the movie starts off fairly light hearted, with a typical over the top, dirty harry-esque cop (beat takeshi) beating up criminals and looking after his younger sister..... and then gets more and more violent and dark. its almost like a disease, with the corruption spreading and new crime bosses springing from the ashes of the fallen. plus theres all the drugs and a pyscho gangster hitman, a necessity in this kind of film.
the bonus features on the dvd are okaaay...serves as a good basic introduction to beat takeshi's work. if this is your first beat takeshi film don't be put off by the awful subs! get his other movies too - look at the useful filmography!
the movie is worth 4/5 stars but this dvd is...pants with these subs. so i'll give it 3/5. love beat takeshi too much to be any harsher!!
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on 17 July 2007
This film seems to be pretty good but the overall effect is spoiled but its having the worst subtitles ever. It would seem that, at best, only around one in every three sentences is titled, which means that you might get the answer to a question but not the question itself (or vice versa). In parts, whole conversation sequences go by with no indication of what's being said. So I guess, unless you speak Japanese, I would recommend not buying this version. Pity really.
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on 3 June 2015
I loved this movie. Violent, bleak, blackly humourous in parts. Classic Kitano. However, I can only post these views after buying the Second Sight version of this film (2009). That version is full screen widescreen and has a wonderful documentary special feature "Takeshi Kitano: The Unpredictable", which features an extended interview with Kitano filmed over a series of days. Most importantly though, the Second Sight version of this DVD has COMPLETE subtitles. The Tokyo Bullet version (1998) of this movie on the other hand has an image with a big black border all the way around it, no documentary special feature and the subtitles are TERRIBLE. Not only are there big chinks of subtitles missing, but the words that are there, when compared to the Second Sight release, don't seem to come close to being a true representation of what is being said (I don't speak Japanese obviously so I can't be certain, but the story makes a lot more sense in the Second Sight version).
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on 29 November 2001
..equal that is in stature - the style is something completely different. Takeshi's style is to mix moments of contemplative calm and cinematograpy, (allowing the camera to tell its own story rather than the Hollywood way of the characters telling it for you) - with sudden bursts of violence. Whats even more astonishing is that the violence is so realistic. And its also very darkly funny - those of you who laughed at the violence in goodfella's will find this endlessly amusing. One of the best films I've seen, and in my reckoing its "beat" Takeshi's best. After this try the excellent "Boiling Point" & "Sonatine".
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on 18 June 2007
There are many subtitles missing from this edition which spoils the film because some of the character's quirks are not realised because of these omissions.

While its great to have it on DVD, the lack of subtitles spoils the film.

There really aren't enough subtitles here!
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on 14 March 2003
VIOLENT COP is the first movie directed by japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano in 1989 and the film is a very good surprise for the Film Noir amateur. As often in japanese movies, silences are more meaningful than dialogs but physical violence is filmed with a scalpel objective when necessary.
The movie is resolutely pessimistic from its first scene to the last images. The first minutes of VIOLENT COP will make you feel very uneasy, the director destroying in two scenes the universal phantasm of the innocence of childhood. In order to let the audience breathe a little, Kitano brings a little humor in the relations between the old cop and its new partner, a rookie who has chosen to learn the job by following him.
Takeshi Kitano has without a doubt a style of his own and the final duel involving all the characters still alive is a piece of anthology that stands masterfully the comparison with the final à la John Woo or à la Quentin Tarantino that have invaded our screens from the beginning of the 90's on.
A DVD zone Dirty Harry.
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on 18 March 2006
I was persuaded to watch this film by my boyfriend, who likes Japanese and Korean films. I looked at the title and thought, "Oh dear". However, once the film started I was engrossed. The film is, of course, violent, but the violence is not gratuitous as I had expected it to be. The film is actually quite amusing in parts: the cop of the film's title is funny due to his unorthodox methods and the scenes showing people from afar when they walk also made me laugh because of their randomness. Although I had predicted a couple of the things that happened in the final scene, I was still surprised by the ending. Well worth a watch. Although the subtitles are a little thin on the ground, the untranslated sentences do not need explanation anyway, as the meaning is obvious from the actor's expression and the context of the scene. In my opinion, too many subtitles can be worse that too few and lessen the viewer's enjoyment of a film.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2016
"Violent Cop" is well known as the beginning of Kitano's directorial career. In 1988, famed director Kinji Fukasaku had to withdraw from the project. In stepped Kitano, far better known as a TV chat show host, author and comedian, to take over the reins. Whomever gave the green light to this idea at the time was either a genius or a lunatic. Maybe both. The former because it gave a unique talent his first break. Potentially a lunatic, however, because in the UK it would be something akin to replacing a modern day David Lean in the director's chair with Graham Norton! It sounds ridiculous but it is comparable. I wonder what the Japanese thought at the time?

As it transpired, Kitano turned out to be an inspired choice and while not his finest film, many of the future trademarks are there. Stillness. Long frame holds in close up. Sudden explosions of (completely unglorified) violence, between long periods of seeming inactivity (count how long it takes him to cross the bridge). And of course, critically, the way Kitano the actor, allows himself be be portrayed by Kitano the director; impassive and largely unsympathetic.

Based on the book by Hisashi Nozawa, who also wrote the screenplay, the film tells the tale of Detective Azuma (kitano), who dispenses violence on those he feels deserve it. The comparisons to Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" can certainly be made (rogue cop, junior partner, difficult private life, implacable adversary) but they feel very different and without any of Eastwood's early vanity. And I'm not sure how Eastwood would have felt about being party to such an ending.

I won't give away the plot, only to say that it plays out in almost two distinct parts, initially almost comedic before becoming something much darker.


Finally, perhaps someone should offer Graham Norton a directing gig. Who knows.......
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on 13 November 2001
People who are already a fan of the very talented Takeshi Kitano will of already seen this film, and would and should have orderd it on dvd. This was his first film in the directors chair, however he shows much experience within his work and i can go as far to say that i can actully call this film, like many of his others, a work of art and pure cinama. It is an early example of what he is very capable of doing and does it far better then any western directors have. Its not quite as beautiful and depressing as Hana-Bi, but it does make you think.
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on 22 September 2003
One can see why this film made such waves when it was first released. As the other reviewers of this film have pointed out, Kitano's style was new, innovative and exciting. However, watching this film back-to-back with 2000's "Brother" reveals how far he has come as a director.
All Kitano's tradmarks are here in his debut feature - effective use of minimal dialogue, shock tactics of brief yet intense violence, and fantastic cinematography. But as a whole the film feels disjointed, without the integrity of vision that makes "Brother" such a stunning work. Even by Kitano's standards, the story unfolds in a confusing way, with the interrelation of the various different characters often confusing a casual viewer. Also missing from this early work is a sympathetic connection with the heroes that would make their violence more acceptable.
Overall, "Violent Cop" is a fine action movie, but not as awe-inspiring as its myth would have you believe. Kitano has made better films.
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