Second Sonny Chiba night in a row. This time I focused my time on a film solely featuring the Dragon eyed Chiba. In this role, he plays the incredibly popular manga hitman Golgo 13. This is technically a sequel to an earlier Golgo 13 film, in which Bullet Train co-star played the assassin lead. It's now increasingly rare for me to see an interesting assassin story. As much as psych development might be handy, it's heavily an overplayed asset.
One thing I respect about Shinichi Chiba: In most of his more popular films, he leaves a reference towards him being a Japanese/Chinese mix. One might speculate as to why but the reason seems to bridge the gap between both cultures and cinema. If you intend to see Chiba with a perm, then you picked the right motion picture.
When I first viewed Sonny Chiba in a thrift store tape in The Street Fighter, I was amazed at his hectic skills in The Street Fighter, but was disappointed at the thought of there being no more Terry Tsurugi style martial arts. Well, I for one have been proved wrong. Once Duke Togo (Golgo 13) gets surrounded by a bunch of punks, he goes out of his way to inflict massive bodily harm leaving many bodies in his wake.
The action level of this film is off the charts. We're either treated to a silent assassin moody-brooding everywhere or we get that same hitman doing stage dives shooting people right in between the eyes. Let the squibs fly. It's a recurring theme in the legend's films to have him pull off a job and get betrayed, which usually leads to more action, violence, and the seduction of women.
The character of Golgo 13 surprisingly needs preparation. You can't pull a Nicholas Cage and just pick up a sniper rifle, utter a couple noir-ish monologues, and have an enjoyable anti-hero. Chiba's fluid movements assembling his rifle were dually noted. The rifle was an extension of him as he traced the skyline with the barrel. If this film should be noted for anything, it's Chiba's stunning performance.
I enjoyed Golgo 13 to the fullest extent that I'd ever imagine I could. The theme song to the film gets drilled into your head. Expect to be humming it after the film is over. Another plus is that you just feel so damn cool while watching this. Detective Smithy was played by a great actor; too bad that was the only film he'd been in. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go play this game on my NES.