September 15, 2023

BAD CITY is a Good Throwback

BAD CITY (Blu-ray)
2022 / 118 min
Review by Tiger the Terrible😺

Kaiko City is a bad place indeed, hence the movie’s title. Not only is the town crawling with Yakuza, there’s corruption everywhere, including a lot of the police and district attorneys. So it’s the perfect place for mob-tied businessman Gojo (Lily Franky) to run for mayor.

His actual candidacy doesn't last long, however, because he’s too busy pitting two warring Yakuza clans against each other while getting involved with a South Korean mob. Meanwhile, the DA’s office sets up a secret squad called the Violent Crimes Division to put a stop to all the murders and nail Gojo. 

To head the team, they release disgraced ex-cop Torada (Hitashi Ozawa) from prison. Originally sentenced for murdering a Korean gangster (the son of the mob boss in league with Gojo), his freedom is only temporary, though he does appear to have something of a personal stake in all this.

A breather between beatdowns.
As antiheroes go, Torada’s pretty badass. Tough, streetwise and not above forming alliances with other bad guys, he’s a fun character who prefers his fists over guns (and gives a pretty amusing reason why during the climactic showdown against countless Gojo thugs).

Bad City is an entertaining throwback to the Yakuza films of the past, with the prerequisite amounts of action, violence and betrayal. At first, the narrative is a bit pokey and convoluted, with too many characters introduced all at once. But after it settles into the story and connects the dots, the film is generally pretty engaging. 



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