The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum


Here’s another flick our pal Darksteel6 sent me.

Viggo Mortensen stars as a forklift operator who saves the life of a Yakuza boss. Impressed with his tenacity, he hires Viggo as part of his crew. Naturally, Viggo just so happens to be a deep undercover federal agent. Of course, Viggo becomes friends with his target and is soon torn between his loyalty to his friend and doing his duty as a cop.

American Yakuza is a solid action flick through and through. It’s intelligently written (by the guys who did the immortal Best of the Best 2) and well-acted, which keeps it a notch or two higher than the usual fare. Viggo is excellent in a role that is somewhat similar to his part in Eastern Promises. This was right when he was at the cusp of stardom and you can easily tell from his work here that he was well on his way to the big time. We also get good supporting performances by Robert Forster (as Viggo’s boss) and Michael Nouri (as a rival gangster) too.

The film also contains some great action moments. There’s a fun scene where Viggo picks up a car with his forklift and chucks it out of a window. Another great bit comes when Viggo hides in a dumpster and a speeding car runs into it and Viggo pops out guns blazing.

Overall, American Yakuza doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It hits all the beats you’d expect it to, but it does so in an entertaining and engaging manner. I don’t know if I’d quite call it a gem, but it’s definitely well worth checking out.

Director Frank A. Cappello went on to helm the underrated Christian Slater flick, He Was a Quiet Man.

Also check out Ty and Brett’s review here:

Tags: a, action
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