EW Staff
October 29, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Boiling Point Masahiko Ono, Yuriko Ishida (1990, Fox Lorber, 98 mins., unrated, subtitled, also on DVD) After the minor art-house success of his 1998 film Fireworks (Hana-Bi), stoic Japanese actor Kitano’s first features as a director are receiving a belated joint U.S. vid release. Be warned, however, that they’re not the ideal introduction to his work; his trademark juxtaposition of tenderness and brutality was still a little rough-hewn. Of the two, Violent Cop, about a flatfoot so vicious in his pursuit of justice that he makes Dirty Harry look like Fargo’s Marge Gunderson, is the more accessible, even if it’s ultimately too simplistic to succeed as art and too mannered to work as exploitation. Boiling Point, though, in which a baseball player crosses some yakuza thugs, is just unpleasantly bizarre. Reel Goodies (0:41 into Violent Cop) Chasing a suspect fleeing on foot, Kitano’s zealous Detective Azuma does what any self-respecting policeman would do: run him over with his car. The Last Detail Kitano’s placid demeanor isn’t all acting — a motorcycle accident paralyzed facial nerves, drastically limiting his range of expressions. Violent Cop: C+ Boiling Point: C

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