“I make the impossible, possible.”
That he does for his third go around as the legendary Takuma “Terry” Tsurugi. Sonny Chiba once again joins force with the director of the first two films, Shigehiro Ozawa, to deliver a skull cracking, jaw smashing action flick with plenty of bodies littered in the streets over who’s going to lay claim to a billion Yen.
In a film where no one is trustworthy, Chiba’s assassin is hired by the mob to free a man and a briefcase from police captivity. His fee? Ten million Yen. This proves to be an easy maneuver for Chiba but collecting his bounty isn’t when the Mob double crosses him. For now he’ll walk away without the cash or the tape recording that’s in the brief case though the Mob will lose a few soldiers following a Chiba ass kicking. Turns out the tape recording has some incriminating remarks by a local politician whom the Mob intends to blackmail for one billion Yen. Not so fast. Chiba appears at the clandestine meeting and steels the tape.
The Mob run by Akira Shioji and his attractive sister, Reiko Ike, want the tape back and Chiba dead. Time to bring in a professional hitman from Chicago known as Mr. Black (Dorian Howard) who may be from the Windy City but he looks more like the member of a Mariachi band. If you think Chiba has been double crossed, give me a minute, it’s the first of dozens. One billion Yen in two giant sized aluminum suitcases are the prized possessions that every character in this rollercoaster ride are after.
That includes a shady prosecutor (Koji Wada) who is willing to let Mob leader Shioji go free in exile for half of the jackpot. This after he gets the tape from Chiba while threatening to kill a female acquaintance of our leading man. But that’s alright, Chiba, is going to get it back and develop a fun relationship with a cute karate babe played by Etsuko Shihomi who would go on to star in the Sister Streetfighter films. Time to trade the tape for the cash with the Mob and though the exchange goes well, he won’t have the cash for very long. Yeah the double cross.
When it’s believed Chiba has been killed in the latest skirmish, it’s left to our prosecutor to make his deal with Shioji and his sister Ike. But then Chiba is still out there and returns with a vengeance knocking off a small army of Mob soldiers. It’s a slaughter. Guess who has the cash back? This game of hot potato is going to begin narrowing the field of players when Chiba meets Mr. Black for a coffin smashing battle in a Mortuary with one hell of an ending for Mr. Black. Loved it!
While most of our players will kill for the money, our Mob Queen, Miss Ike, will bed anyone she needs to in order to lay her hands on the suitcases of cash. That includes both Chiba and Wada. While she may be giving them pleasure in the bedroom and appearing topless for the male members of the paying audience, she’s about as trustworthy as a child in a cookie factory. While she’s bedding the boys she’s either attempting to poison them or have an assassin ready to kill once she mates.
As the film gets closer to the finale at the 83 minute mark, our major players are going to collide to see who is going to be the last fighter standing and lay claim to the cash. Let me add that it’s a bloody good time winding things up.
Sonny Chiba’s third go around as The Streetfighter is another entertaining brawl and might even be the best film of the trilogy. Despite the numerous double crosses it’s more straightforward in plot and the ultimate goal with Chiba taking on an almost James Bond like persona of bedding women, mastering disguises and proving to be indestructible. Hell, if we added buffoon onto that list he’d almost be a Clouseau clone.
For a look back at the first two films in the series have a look here and here. As previously mentioned in those spotlights, the trilogy has thankfully been released on blu ray in restored versions via the Shout Select arm of Shout Factory. In this case one can select either the U.S. release version or the original Japanese cut which is about four minutes longer. Should you pick this up be sure you don’t watch the American release trailer before the film itself. Would you believe they actually the show the final battle and end result of Chiba vs. —- . Not so fast. No sir, you’ll have to tune in yourself to see who he’s paired against in the final frames.
Like the earlier two films, all released in the same calendar year, I do indeed have the U.S. one sheet here in the vault at Mike’s Take and here it will stay.