Sunday, 3 August 2014

Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989)

Charles Bronson is a tough guy, once again, in this piece of sleazy nastiness from director J. Lee Thompson. Of course, Bronson was always a tough guy in pretty much everything he did so, don't worry, I'll give you a bit more about his situation this time around.

Bronson is a cop who can't seem to pin anything on horrible uber-pimp Duke (Juan Fernandez). Duke specializes in little girls for his clients, which leads to Bronson specializing in making Duke's life as difficult as possible. It's not all by the book. In fact, it's about as far from the book as you can get. The clock starts to tick faster when a Japanese businessman (James Pax) turns to the police when his young daughter is kidnapped. The distraught father also has a few peccadilloes of his own, and Bronson may not be too happy about helping him if he finds out just what he's been up to since arriving in America.

Written by Harold Nebenzal, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects is, in many ways, standard Bronson fare, yet it's also a bit different. His character is forced, albeit momentarily, to question how his mind works when he's not on the job, to consider the damage done and the huge difference between his own view of the world and the view that others can take. There are times when this creeps into territory covered by the likes of Tightrope and The Offence. And then there are times when Bronson forces someone to eat a watch.

Director J. Lee Thompson is well known for a filmography that's pretty loaded with testosterone, and he worked with Bronson on a number of movies before this one (this was their last film together), so viewers shouldn't have been TOO surprised by the end result this time around. It may have some extra unpleasantness, but it's still all about Bronson doing a good job where the system falls down.

Bronson is fine in the lead role, whether he's aggressively scaring pimps and crooks or going off on a bizarre racist rant aimed at numerous Japanese people he views as pesky interlopers, at one point. Fernandez is suitably loathsome as Duke, and Pax is, arguably, one of the more interesting characters to be placed in a movie like this. It's made clear that he's not the nicest guy ever, especially in the way that he treats his wife, but he's also not demonised for his actions, despite the one main sequence that sees him sliding from relatively harmless thoughts of his fantasties to grossly inappropriate real actions. Peggy Lipton and Amy Hathaway are just fine as the women in Bronson's life, Perry Lopez does well enough as Eddie Rios, Sy Richardson is a bad man who works with Duke, and fans of Nicole Eggert will be pleased to see her in a relatively early role.

It might leave you wanting to take a shower as the end credits roll, but this is another fine piece of Bronson-led machismo for those who like such fare. And I count myself among that demographic nowadays.


1 comment:

  1. I watched this earlier this year as well. Plus, points for "peccadilloes"