I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. Tokyo Raiders, was, you guessed it, awful. I'm just going to name off the positives now before you stop reading: good action scenes, pretty Asian girls (**nudge nudge Ben**), bitchin' soundtrack. Let's see, anything else? Nope that's about it. See you next time...
Tokyo Raiders (Dong jing gong lüe) (2000)
Directed by Jingle Ma
Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ekin Cheng and Kelly Chen
Alright, now that we have the fair-weather fans gone, we can focus on the real piece of work that is Tokyo Raiders. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not at all as bad as X-Treme Fighter. That movie was downright turrible. No, Tokyo Raiders is more of a Rush Hour comedy mixed with Mortal Kombat music with just a dash of L.A. Streetfighters.
First we have Macy, the girl who is left at the alter because her husband-to-be is kidnapped by Japanese mobsters. Good start. She then decides to travel to Japan to find her boyfriend, Ken Tremaine, while picking up a wise-cracking sidekick named John in Hong Kong. Alright, I'm still intrigued. Then they both meet up with a mysterious cat named Lin, who fought off some of the baddies at the beginning of the film and reveals that Macy's boyfriend isn't the charmer she thinks he is.
The movie felt more like I was watching a video game, with action scenes separated by cut-scenes with crappy dialogue. They tried to throw some melodramatic jargon in there backed with the Chinese Celine Dion singing in the background, but this movie only accomplished in entertaining me for the three reasons I listed in the first paragraph. That's it.
In the end, we see that Tremaine is wanted by the CIA and the mobsters for some information he's withholding. Well, guess where he hid the info... It was on the girl the entire time. John and Lin karate chop their way to the truth in a city that is entirely owned by the mob; and yes, there was a bathhouse scene, but what Asian movie would be complete without one?
Characters and Dialogue
These characters were two-dimensional at best. Macy whines alot, John cracks jokes that are as clichéd as they are unfunny and Lin is the serious but lovable coordinator of this rag-tag group of Asian runaways. The mobsters' henchmen are a dime a dozen, and all wear black to signify they are not the good guys. Lin uses a taser-rod which is pretty cheap considering that no one else uses a weapon in almost the entire movie. Oh, and don't try to mess with anybody in Tokyo if you ever go, because every single citizen knows the martial arts. Training must come with your driver's license and voter registration card or something.
The English overdub is waaay better than L.A. Streetfighters, but apparently the English voice-actors doing the work have no acting ability whatsoever. Every line is delivered by a living human being, yes, but there is little improvement past that. You would think after making movies for so long, Asia, you'd improve your over-dubbing process and fork out a decent wage for decent voice-actors. But, I guess crappy dialogue adds to the whole "comedic" atmosphere, who knows?
Again, let me reiterate that this movie is laughable. Not only because it is a comedy, but that it's an overall crappy movie. As an action movie, I have no gripes with it. You successfully entertained me, Tokyo Raiders. Nice job. Don't take my word for it (dunh dunh DUNH!) though, readers, check out Part 1 of the movie right here at Ben's Movie Reviews!