The Street Fighter

JAPANORAMA - Yorstat  BANNER JAPAN-O-RAMA01 - The Streetfighter Street Fighter 1974 Sonny Chiba, Shinichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada, Masashi Ishibashi, Jirō Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki, Nobuo Kawai, Ken Kazama, Fumio Watanabe

The Street Fighter (激突!殺人拳): a highly skilled martial-artist is betrayed by mobsters, so he offers up his protection to their next target. What knocked me out is that the centre of this exploitative, ultra-violent, B-movie there’s a layered, intricate, badass, mercenary anti-hero – a great performance from Chiba, who does his complex character justice. There’s a whole lot of playing on the mystique of Karate (techniques, block breaking showboating, large-scale training etc), and more generally the exotic east. The fights and clever stunts are all mighty-fine from the opening through to the ‘boss fights’, and knockout ending: although most are accompanied by some peculiar primal/pneumatic sounds and facial expressions on Chiba’s part. The story’s simple but effective and contains some surprisingly dark and seedy aspects – assassins, mafia, firing squads, prostitution – pretty hard stuff for this era. The direction is also top-rate: stylish and flashy when it needs to be, and no-nonsense handling of the action scenes. Put it all together and this is quite simple a masterpiece in Kung-Fu cinema – blood, guts and tons of action that still feels both shocking and brutal 40 years on. The Street Fighter is an absolute must-see for all fans of action cinema.

Score: 9/10

02 - The Streetfighter Street Fighter 1974 Sonny Chiba, Shinichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada, Masashi Ishibashi, Jirō Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki, Nobuo Kawai, Ken Kazama, Fumio Watanabe

Just ripped off another guy’s junk (in hand)

03 - The Streetfighter Street Fighter 1974 Sonny Chiba, Shinichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada, Masashi Ishibashi, Jirō Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki, Nobuo Kawai, Ken Kazama, Fumio Watanabe

Sttandard reaction to a skull-spliitting punch

04 - The Streetfighter Street Fighter 1974 Sonny Chiba, Shinichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada, Masashi Ishibashi, Jirō Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki, Nobuo Kawai, Ken Kazama, Fumio Watanabe

Not all sensational: there’s plenty, bold & striking imagery on display too.

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2 comments
  1. Yep. Teed this up again this year for viewing. Still as you’ve described it.

    Like

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Absolutely. I was actually blown away by this one, didn’t expect it at all as I’m not usually a fan of older movies – however, this is better than pretty much every modern action film I can remember watching.

      Like

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