The Shinjuku Incident is a 2009 action crime drama directed by Derek Yee and starring Jackie Chan. The film is set in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district and follows the story of a Chinese migrant worker who becomes involved with the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime syndicate. The film is known for its violent and intense action sequences, as well as its exploration of themes of identity and redemption.
Jackie Chan stars as Steelhead, a Chinese migrant worker who washes up on Japan’s Wakasa Bay with hundreds more refugees. Steelhead has come to Japan in search of a woman he has loved since he was a child. Ultimately, his quest for love ends in rejection when he discovers that the woman is already married to a Yakuza underboss. The rejection sends Steelhead on a downward spiral, he becomes embroiled in the criminal underworld and must navigate this dangerous and complex lifestyle.
The Shinjuku Incident was a significant movie in Jackie Chan’s career in the sense that it marked a departure from his typical comedic roles and helped to showcase his dramatic acting abilities. Throughout his career, Jackie Chan has best been known for his comedic action films, but The Shinjuku Incident allowed him to demonstrate his range as an actor and his ability to perform in a more drama-focused role.
How was The Shinjuku Incident Received Critically?
The Shinjuku Incident received mixed to positive reviews from audiences and critics. Some praised the film for its intense action sequences, powerful performances, and exploration of themes of identity, belonging, and justice, while others criticized it for its violent content and slow pacing.
On film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a rating of 57% based on reviews from critics, indicating a mixed critical reception. On IMDb, it has a rating of 7.1 out of 10 based on over 12,000 user ratings.
Time Out HK gave the movie 4 stars and said that it is “Pulsating in its dramatic intensity, and indelible in its brutal vision”. Similarly, Moviexclusive gave the film 4 stars stating that “the acclaimed director [Derek Yee] makes another fine entry into his repertoire by taking a most interesting subject matter and distilling it into a thought-provoking movie that is equal parts action and drama and just as riveting either way”.
About the Director – Derek Yee
Derek Yee Tung-sing is a Hong Kong film director, actor and producer. He was born in Hong Kong on 28th December, 1957, and began his career in the film industry as an actor, starting in 1969 as a child star. In the 80s Derek Yee transitioned to behind-the-scenes work, directing his first film, “The Lunatics” in 1986.
Throughout his career, Derek Yee has directed a wide range of films, including action movies, crime dramas, and romantic comedies. He is known for his versatility and ability to create compelling stories across multiple genres. Some of his best-known films include “The Truth About Jane and Sam” (1999), “One Nite in Mongkok” (2004), and “Protégé” (2007).
In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Derek Yee has also been involved in the Hong Kong film industry as a producer and as a member of various film organizations, such as the Hong Kong Film Awards. He has won several awards for his work, including the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director in 1994 and 2005.