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Tokyo Raiders

MOVIE REVIEW - TOKYO RAIDERS

I am a big Asian movie fan. In fact, I used to own a video store in Boulder that was almost all kung-fu/Asian videos.
There haven't been a ton of great films coming out of Hong Kong since the departure of Jet Li and Jackie Chan. It seems that most of the movies are too-serious gangster/cop movies that have been done over and over. So it was a pleasant surprise to rent TOKYO RAIDERS(directed by Jingle Ma) and have it be such an enjoyable film.

Here is the synopsis :
"Beautiful fashion model Macy (Kelly Chen) waits in vain for her Japanese groom Takahashi (Nakamura Toru) to show up at their Las Vegas wedding ceremony. Arriving alone at their new home in Hong Kong, she is confronted by Yung (Ekin Cheng), their interior decorator, who insists on the final settlement of his bill. They fly to Japan together in search of Takahashi. His Tokyo apartment has been abandoned, where they are attacked by a gang of Japanese yakuza. Escaping, they are introduced to Lin (Tony Leung), a private detective hired by the yakuza's boss, Ito (Abe Hiroshi), to photograph Takahashi's affair with his woman. Macy, Lin & Yung are in a dangerous predicament: how to find Takahashi and the truth before the yakuza use them as bait. And just who is telling the truth anyway?"

The opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie. It has one of our heroes(Tony Leung)attacked in the street by a gang of secret service type thugs. Suddenly, the upbeat Samba score kicks in, and our hero effortlessly dispatches the thugs using his umbrella in very painful ways. They chase him up to his apartment, which is a hi-tech superspy apartment from which he escapes by locking them behind bullet-proof glass in his apartment, and then rappelling down the central stairwell while the hapless bad guys look on in disbelief. Awesome.

The tone of this movie is what sets it apart. This movie just has a ton of fun. It really moves along and keeps you smiling and tappin' yer foot to the Samba soundtrack. It doesn't take itself too seriously, yet the stars take their roles seriously and they all have a good time. Filmed on location in Tokyo, the cinematography is quite good. There is ample use of an ultra stylized freeze frame effect that really adds to the style of this film. The moovie oozes big budget feel.

Ekin Cheng is great as the ass kicking interior decorator, and Tony Leung is appropriately smooth as the hi-tech private eye who might be a spy. And did I mention the beautiful women? TOKYO RAIDERS also has several gorgeous Asian women in it, most notably CECILIA CHEUNG, a new actress who is just absolutely stunning.
With tons of fight scenes, a fun attitude and excellent stars in it, do yourself a favor and go rent TOKYO RAIDERS now.

TOKYO RAIDERS currently is available for purchase or rent at several Asian video stores on the West/Federal area of town. If you rent the VCD, make sure you do NOT listen to the Mandarin ttrack. You want the Cantonese track as you definitely don't want to listen to Mandarin dubbing, especially on the Japanese actors. I have been informed that it will soon be released in a non import version which can be rented from Blockbuster/Hollywood
--Mike O'Toole