Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) (part 3 of 3)

46. At his place, Kenner is giving Minako a shotgun. Just then, Murata calls him. Kenner leaves her, telling her to shoot at anything she hears moving. Minako wonders if that includes him, but he says she won’t hear him coming. And yes, this will pay off later.

47. Back to Murata. It seems he’s followed Yoshida and company to a bathhouse. Remember the remark I made about the homoerotic subtext at the beginning? Well, it’s about to kick into overdrive. I don’t like to get into this kind of pretentious bullshit, but like the shower scene in Tango & Cash, sometimes the film is just asking for it.

48. It begins as Kenner and Murata approach the entrance. Kenner asks him if he’s scared, and Murata bends down for some reason before coming up and saying no. I don’t even want to know. They enter, rough up the doorman, and Murata beats up a few random thugs. They then find Yoshida and his guys almost naked in baths, save for thongs. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

49. On a side note, I really have to feel for Cary Tagawa here. The amount of time spent getting full body tattoo makeup applied must have been tedious as hell. No wonder he ended up in that Planet of the Apes remake. If anybody has the stamina to put up with several hours of makeup appliances, this guy would be near the top of the list.

50. Kenner tells Yoshida he’s under arrest for Angel’s murder, among other things, and I have to say it’s really hard to focus on the film with all the man ass on display. To be fair, though, there is a naked woman in the scene. She doesn’t get much face time though, no pun intended.

51. Yoshida brings up Kenner’s father, and a brawl ensues. Murata beats up anything not wearing pants, while Kenner squares off with a big fat guy. Because when you’re watching an action film, you really want to see a big fat dude wearing a thong. Kenner and the fat guy have moved on to a knife fight, and one of the villains uses a hose to hold off Kenner. Murata takes out Hose Guy with a stool, and then Yoshida’s right hand man attacks him.

52. Meanwhile, the big fat guy leaps on Kenner with his knife, and now I’m feeling sorry for Dolph Lundgren. I hope they got this scene done quickly for everybody’s sake. This is one of the most amazingly uncomfortable fight scenes I’ve ever seen. The men grapple for the knife and end up in the water, and after a moment or two of grappling, Kenner stabs the fat guy, who lets out a loud (yet muffled) scream.

53. Yoshida and his men flee, just as Kenner comes up for air. As he climbs out of the water, the fat guy pulls him back down. Kenner takes him out for good by turning the hose on and shoving it down the guy’s throat, drowning him. Several men reenter with guns, only to be shot by Murata, and the most uncomfortable scene in the movie is over. It’s amazing how almost-naked bad guys can make a fight scene too weird for words.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

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