Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan…
Release Year: 1989
Rating: 6.5/10 (21,044 voted)
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan. In Japan, however, he manages to escape. As they try to track him down, they get deeper and deeper into the Japanese Mafia scene and they have to learn that they can only win by playing the game the Japanese way.
Writers: Craig Bolotin, Warren Lewis
(as Shigeru Koyama)
(as Luis Guzman)
(as John A. Costelloe)
Osaka, Japan. A cop on the edge. A conspiracy on the rise. A killer on the loose.
Release Date: 22 September 1989
Filming Locations: 1000 N. Crescent Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $9,677,102
(24 September 1989)
Did You Know?
Jackie Chan turned down a role, as he didn't want to play a "bad" character.
Towards the end of the movie, Nick shoots a hole in a bed sheet hanging on a clothes line, but the pre-cut hole is visible before it is shot.
You watch your tail, cowboy.
Ultra-moody cop fiction.
I saw this film on crappy pan and scan VHS when I was about 12 and I
didn't really understand it and I wasn't really up on Ridley Scott's
work. As a result, the impact of the film was somewhat lost on me. I
was expecting an action film instead of a character drama with lots of
police procedure. But now, older and wiser and with a brand new Blu Ray
of the movie, I am finally able to appreciate how clever the film is.
The story unfortunately IS riddled with 80s Cop Movie clichés and goes
through quite a lot of familiar motions. But if you see past that
you'll appreciate the immense atmosphere and mood that Ridley Scott
piles on. Simply put, Michael Douglas is Nick Conklin, a bad cop
(pretty much the exact same character in Basic Instinct) who drag races
on his superbike to pay alimony and pinches drug money instead of
turning it in for evidence. Enjoying lunch with partner Charlie (Andy
Garcia) in a steakhouse in New York's meat-packing district, they just
happen to witness a Yakuza execution by wanted Japanese criminal Sato
(Yusaku Matsuda, who was dying of cancer during filming and didn't tell
anyone). After a quick punch-up and shoot-out they find themselves
chaperoning Sato back to Osaka. But when they arrive there he manages
to escape, leaving them embarrassed with lots of questions to answer.
Nick and Charlie find themselves in a very foreign and intolerant world
and recapturing Sato proves to be difficult in many ways. Not the least
of which is Japan's alienating culture (from an NYPD point of view) and
rigid rules. Nonetheless, Nick is determined to catch Sato and restore
Like I said, the atmosphere of the film is overwhelming, which is
really all the film needs. The clichés and stereotypes don't matter so
much when you are involved this much. Hans Zimmer (his first film with
Ridley Scott) provides a deeply emotional and very melodic score
that'll be rattling around in your head for days. It's a shame it's
never had a comprehensive CD release, as it's one of Zimmer's most
You could call it a pretty 80s movies, but I still do feel that it
holds up pretty well today. As one of Ridley Scott's more forgotten
works, it's well worth checking out.