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Violent Cop (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 1998 / Director: 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano / Actors: 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami ... / DVD released 03 December, 2001 at Mia Video Entertainment Ltd / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen

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    Violent Cop ("Sono otoko kyobo ni tsuki") is the first film directed by Takeshi "Beat" Kitano, the Japanese star who began as a stand-up comedian on television. It's a Dirty Harry-type tale of a cop whose overly muscular methods are disapproved of by his superiors. When his partner is killed by the local Mr Big, Azuma (Kitano) goes into action, along with a new sidekick he initiates into the ways of the world. Dismissed from the force, Azuma carries on his one-man campaign, despite his sister's being forcibly drugged and raped by the gang. The violence is graphic, but what's most engaging about the film is Kitano's acting. He's an unlikely hero with his bow-legged walk and the face of a punch-drunk boxer, but his low-key style, a counterpart to the explosive violence, is always cool and it's easy to see why he's such a cult figure.--Ed Buscombe