Dolph Lundgren in Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

Fish & Naked Chicks

As a child Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) witnessed his father killed whilst they lived in Japan, now he is all grown up and a detective in Los Angeles where he specialises in dealing with the influx of Japanese criminals and especially the Yakuza. He also specialises in not keeping partners as he finds himself saddled with the young and inexperienced Japanese-American detective named Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee). Together they are on the trail of Yoshido (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) a Yakuza leader whose supposed Red Dragon brewery is a front for a drugs operation which sees the buddies having to protect Minako (Tia Carrere) a singer at a club who could help them bring down Yoshido

I have many regrets in life and a strange one is that along with a large chunk of my collection I sold my VHS copy of "Showdown in Little Tokyo" as that video holds a lot of memories for me. For one it was the first movie I remember seeing Brandon Lee in and it was the first time I ever saw people eating food off of naked women laying on tables and yes I was a horny young man back then who wouldn't have been able to tell a good movie from a bad one. On that matter I have to say that whilst I enjoy "Showdown in Little Tokyo" I would be lying if I said to you it was anything more than just an entertaining 90s action movie.

Brandon Lee in Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

As such think of any cop buddy movie from the 80s and 90s and you will have an idea of what you get in "Showdown in Little Tokyo". There are wise cracks, there is plenty of action, there is repetitive use of the same piece of incidental music and there is nudity along with a sex scene. But alongside the action is of course martial arts with a mix of the cool and the comical too much of it as well as the highly choreographed and hysterical such as when Kenner picks up the bad guy's car and turns it on its side.

But there is something about "Showdown in Little Tokyo" which works and at times it is Dolph Lundgren playing it big but super cool such as in the scene where he takes down a group of men whilst drinking coffee. But then sometimes it is Brandon Lee who in this had the full package with the looks, the one liners but also the impressively quick martial arts skills. But then there is the menace of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and the Yakuza with their customs which include chopping off their own thumbs.

What this all boils down to is that "Showdown in Little Tokyo" not only has cherished memories for me but it is still a heck of a lot of fun. Whether that is the same for anyone who comes to this without an appreciation for 90s movies is another matter as with out that love of bad action well this could be seriously cheesy.