Showdown in Little Tokyo is not a good movie. It is poorly acted, poorly written, offensive, over the top in every way, and it features gratuitous amounts of nudity and violence. Showdown in Little Tokyo is an AMAZING movie. (Note: The above video is super-NSFW. SHHH! Don’t tell Youtube.)
The movie is centered around two mismatched cops, played by Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee, trying to take down a Japanese crime organization that is flooding the streets with high-quality methamphetamine. Now, at this point of these Scene Breakdowns, I usually try to give you some quick background info about the movie. Instead, I’d like to direct your attention to this passage from the film’s Wikipedia page, which is so wondrously written that it makes me question what I’m even doing here:
Los Angeles cop Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) is an American who was raised in Japan. He is given a new partner, Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee), an American of partial Japanese descent.
Kenner does not appreciate American culture, while Johnny does not much like Japanese culture. One thing they both enjoy are the martial arts, of which they are both experts.
Yup, that about sums it up. Anyway, the scene I’m breaking down has it all: evil criminal bosses, implausible feats of strength, decapitation, neck-snapping, shameful Hollywood stereotypes, machine guns, attempted seppuku, nudity, and explosions. It is a true American treasure. Fun fact: This is the second straight movie I’ve selected to breakdown where the main character, without the aid of a ramp or trampoline, avoids being hit by an oncoming car by leaping straight up over it like that’s something people do.
I guess you could say I have a niche.
As always, we begin with a look at some of the scene’s key players. Here we have the film’s antagonist, crime boss Funekei Yoshida, bringing a gift to one of the performers at his night club, played by Tia Carrere. The crime boss is played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who you may recognize from everything on TV or film since like 1989. Despite this long career playing the vital Hollywood role of “Asian Guy,” to me Tagawa will always be the zany grandpa from the Disney Channel movie Johnny Tsunami (a movie whose entire premise is based around two junior high students sneaking onto a military plane and flying from Vermont to Hawaii, naturally). So it’s a little weird for me to see him in one of the most preposterously evil roles committed to film.
… he proceeds to kidnap her, bring her to his mansion, and rape her while showing her a video of him cutting off her best friend’s head with a sword. This is what one might conservatively call a bad evening for Tia’s character.