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Film / Violent Cop

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Violent Cop is a 1989 film by Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano, as well as his directorial debut.

Opening up with the beating of a homeless person by a group of kids, we later see detective Azuma (played by Kitano himself) going at the house of one of the delinquents and violently threatening him to denounce himself. This scene illustrates the character of Azuma and how the rest of the film unfolds as he keeps using unorthodox methods in order to get what he wants.

But Azuma isn't a complete asshole. He also cares about his sister, who just got out of the hospital, and his colleague Iwaki whom he considers his friend. That's where a gang starts to cause trouble in Azuma's routine.

While this film was intended to be a classic detective story directed by Kinji Fukasaku, scheduling issues caused him to step down, and Kitano took over and rewrote most of the script. The final product is a police drama which departs heavily from Kitano's previous work.


This Film Provides Examples Of:

  • Anti-Hero: Azuma.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The scene in which a culprit single-handedly beats up a whole investigation team (which then follows with a long chase scene where they can't manage to catch up a running man with a car) is a notable proof of that.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: In a late fight scene, Kiyohiro tries to knife Azuma, but Azuma takes the stab in his hand.
  • Batter Up!: The running suspect grabs a bat and goes mayhem on a detective.
  • Berserk Button: You make a bad comment about Azuma's sister, he will make you pay for it. Kiyohiro did, and he almost got shot in the mouth.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In an obsessive way. Azuma cares about his sister to the point that he will keep a good eye on the guy she dates.
  • Blank Stare: Kiyohiro gives one to a raging Azuma after being taken back by his fellow detectives.
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  • Character Title: Azuma can easily be pointed as the violent cop of his station.
  • Chase Scene: A rather special one, as cops try to catch a running suspect and, despite driving a car, fail multiple times at catching him.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Azuma doesn't mind seeing Kikuchi being beaten up by a suspect.
  • Content Warnings: The japanese title of the movie can be translated as "Warning: This Man is Wild" or "This man, because of his extreme violence [should not be approached]".
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Akari falls in a downward spiral of drug addiction, on top of being raped by Kiyohiro's gang
  • Cowboy Cop: Azuma.
  • Cynical Mentor: Azuma towards Kikuchi.
  • Damsel in Distress: Akari.
  • Darkened Building Shootout: The final action scene of the film.
  • Determinator: Azuma doesn't care about the rules, wether he wears his badge or not, he will find his way to fight crime.
  • Dirty Cop: Azuma, and it proves his status as a anti-hero. However, the police in this movie has its load of crooks.
  • Downer Ending: Azuma ends up killing Kiyohiro and his gang, but finds out that his sister has become a total drug addict. Out of desperation and mind-loss, he kills her and then gets killed by the gang leader's henchman. Afterwards, the henchman becomes the gang leader and Azuma's former assistant becomes a corrupted detective. In the end, crime wins.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Azuma interrogates Kiyohiro, he hands him his gun and suggests him to off himself.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's easier to count the number of non-violent characters in this film.
  • Evil All Along: Kikuchi.
  • Fingore: Happens to a drug dealer who gets tracked down by Kiyohiro who uses a knife on his fingers as he is hanging at the edge of a building.
  • Go Through Me: After a long chase scene, Azuma manages to track down a suspect and kicks him to the ground. Kikuchi tries his best to protect the suspect from Azuma.
  • Hand Stomp: After a drug dealer reveals to Azuma who he gets his drug from, Kiyohiro tracks him down and puts him hanging at the edge of a building. Kiyohiro uses a knife to make him fall, though.
  • Hard Boiled Detective: Azuma
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Azuma towards his sister Akari. Until the end of the movie.
  • Kill 'Em All: Azuma's killed, Akari's killed, Kiyohiro's killed, Kiyohiro's gang is killed, Kiyohiro's boss is killed, Iwaki's killed... Only Kikuchi, who takes Iwaki's place as a corrupt cop, is still alive.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Azuma doesn't mind doing it after tracking down an escaping suspect.
  • Let Me at Him!: After Kiyohiro made a foul comment on Azawa and his sister, Azawa tries to shoot down Kiyohiro until a group of other cops hold him back.
  • The Mole: Kikuchi.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Kikuchi.
  • Officially Shortened Title: While Violent Cop is the official title of the movie outside Japan, the film's japanese title can be referred as "Warning: This Man is Wild" or "This man, because of his extreme violence [should not be approached]".
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Azuma and Kikuchi.
  • One of the Kids: One detective in Azuma's investigation team pretends to guard an entrance only to play base-ball with children. Unfortunately, a running suspect comes up and beats the detective's head with the kids' bat.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Azuma's method of dealing with a kid who beat up a homeless man along with his friends.
  • Police Brutality: More precisely Azuma and his unethical methods of fighting crime.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Kikuchi towards Azuma
  • Rabid Cop: Azuma.
  • Rearrange the Song: The soundtrack contains a guitar rendition of Erik Satie's Gnossiennes.
  • Recurring Camera Shot: The movie shows Azuma crossing a bridge at the beginning. The same kind of shot features Kikuchi crossing the bridge at the end of the movie, and shows how he has taken Azuma's place.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: While Azuma and his crew try their best to catch a running suspect, smooth jazz music is played.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Azuma gives one to his sister when he finds out that she has become a drug-craving addict.
  • Turn in Your Badge: After Azuma crossed the line by provoking a criminal to act up against him.
  • Vigilante Man: Azuma.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Azuma demonstrates that at the beginning of film, by beating and threatening a child who beat up a homeless man with his friend.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Kiyohiro makes one offensive comment about Azuma's sister, and it's enough for him to try killing him.