Johnny – “We’re gonna nail this guy. And when we get done… we’re gonna go eat fish off those naked chicks!“
OK, thanks for popping in for today’s review of Showdown In Little Tokyo.
All the best… Mikey Wolfman…
Me – “Excuse me? What’s that? You wanted more of a review than lets eat shusi off naked girls? Oh! OK! I’ll see what I can come up with!“
Two Los Angeles cops join forces. There’s the giant blond, musclebound, Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) and the super chic, suited and slick Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee). Their paths had crossed when fighting breaks out in a noodle bar on the streets of Little Tokyo, an area of downtown LA. Chris, the tall American had been raised all his life in Japan and lived and breathed the culture. Whereas, Johnny, on the other-hand, was an all American boy of mixed Japanese descent and embraced everything of his country. Both were masters of their chosen martial art. Johnny eyes up Chris with confusion as he speaks Japanese and wears his favourite samurai ninja style outfit “You sure are going full out for culture appropriation bro?“
Chris lives the life. He was friends with the local noodle bar owner, he speaks fluent Japanese, dresses the part and resides in a reconstruction of his old family home. A traditional Japanese style house with minimal furniture and shoji paper screens. Chris had a traumatic past. His parents were murdered in front of him by a young member of the Iron Claw Yakuza clan when he was 9 years old. Trained from an early age he’d managed to lash out with his sword and cut the Yakuza’s face as he escaped. He would never forget the killers fully tattooed torso featuring the Iron Claw emblem.One day he had vowed to revenge his parent. That day would arrive when Yoshida (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) turns up with his scarred face and kills the local nightclub owner of the Bonsai Club. Squished in a scrap car compactor!
The psychotic Kingpin Yakuza boss, Yoshida runs the Red Dragon local brewery, a front for his drug distribution trade. A place he assigns all the local hood gangs. Everything was running so smoothly. Crystal meth being shipped out in concealed beer bottles. It was the perfect operation. Apart from dishing out some decapitations here and there and the usual lunatic boss stuff, boss Yoshida was quite happy with himself. Well, that was until our fighting Fist of Fury friends turn up and start kicking his gangs ass.
Tagline – The deadliest vice-kingpin under the Rising Sun has just come to the City of Angels…where two angels of death are about to make him wish he’d stayed in Japan.
There’s a common question that often arises, along with other things, on this movie site whilst I revisit the old memories of the video store rental days. That old sage classic of legend… Will you be needing the pause button during the duration of this here movie? Well, I let you know there’s a bouncing, bountiful, abundance of booby action in this cult action film. I’d say close your eyes and randomly press that button anywhere and you’re bound to land on some joyful, eye popping scene or another.
And to counteract that abundance flashing of Dolph’s pectoral muscles poking out of his skimpy vest all the time! We get the gorgeous Tia Carrere playing hot girl, damsel in distress, Minako Okeya. She’s happy to join the flesh-fest and drops her drawers for some hot-tub, lets fix these bruised muscles, fun. Somehow her hair suddenly becomes longer in a different style and her breasts become somewhat larger? Must of been the angle of the camera? Surely they wouldn’t of used a body double with boob implants? Anyhow I digress…
Showdown In Little Tokyo is full of frantic 90s action mayhem. Clocking in at one hour and fifteen minutes it doesn’t stop. It’s relentless. Apparently, as a result of the studio being pissed at the final test screen reaction they went to town chopping it up. And to be honest to them, it’s made it a rollercoaster ride of fun. Tons of fighting in saunas and steam houses, plus shootout and kung-fu galore. Plenty of explosions and they even throw in a fun electric shock torture scene. It also features one of the greatest baddie deaths to be filmed. All I’ll say is it features a giant catherine wheel. It’s here on YouTube if you want to see it. But best of all is the buddy relationship between our Dolph and Brandon. It’s well written with all the constant cheesy macho banter between them. It’s is sad to see Brandon coming across really likable and makes you feel gutted that the son of legend Bruce Lee would be soon killed, in his prime, during the filming of The Crow (1994). Showdown In Little Tokyo is a fun way to remember him.
I’ll leave with some choice interaction between Chris and Johnny
- Johnny – (Asking for a translation) “What did that mean?“
Chris – “Roughly translated, out of the frying pan and boned up the ass with a red-hot poker.“
Johnny – “There you have it.“
- Chris – “Hey, she was frightened.“
Johnny – “Yeah, I saw you strip down for that hot tub. I’d be frightened, too…“
- Johnny – “Kenner, just in case we get killed, I wanted to tell you, you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man.”
Chris – “Thanks. I don’t know what to say.“
- Chris – “Are you scared?“
Johnny – (Bends down to smell his ass then stands back upright) “Nah!“
- Johnny – (Whilst being tortured with electric) “In between cooking cycles you’re supposed to baste us!“
Chris – “That’s right, you FUCKING IDIOTS!!!“
4 thoughts on “Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) Dolph Lundgren And Brandon Lee Join Forces To Fight Yakuza Boss”
I don’t remember this one AT ALL.
Among the lines you recorded for posterity….where did that dick line come from?! Was that supposed to be levity?! LOL I mean, I’m laughing now, so it must have been !!
And I don’t think any of us would have imagined in a million years that Bruce Lee would die tragically and prematurely…and the his son would too. So, so, so, sad.
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Flabbergasted respect I think. I don’t know how he would of viewed it from inside house, as said “member” was unleash outside and plopped straight into the hot-tub. Though the house did have paper windows and it might of presented itself like a shadow puppet!! GASP! LOL
I know right, so sad both Lee’s tragically dying so young. Esp with Brandon being so likable in this role. Boo 😦
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Flabbergasted respect. Hahaha. Yes! Perfect!
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Your early wrap-up to the review threw me for a second…I thought, wait…what? That was it? Don’t EVER pull a stunt like that again!
Anyway…I REALLY need to get caught up on my review reading. I’d heard of this movie, but never knew who was in it, and was surprised that there are a handful of stars, plus a few familiar secondary faces. And it’s from 1991…I would’ve sworn it was from the mid-’80s…I didn’t think these types of films spilled over into the ’90s!
And that reference about the “needing the pause button” questions you always get…that wasn’t directed at ME, was it? I mean, c’mon…I read the articles, too!