Blow Back 2 (Japan 1990)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: Blowback: Love & Death (American release)
Review Date: 8/4/01
Cast: Riki Takeuchi, Mie Yoshida, Mike Monty

A low budget Japanese heroic bloodshed film, most likely inspired by John Woo's "The Killer" (1989). Baku and Joe (Riki Takeuchi) are a couple of crooks who get ambushed in the Philippines by a ruthless American gangster named Wildcat (creepy Mike Monty). Joe manages to escape and is determined to avenge the death of his partner. He hooks up with Baku's old girlfriend Rei (Mie Yoshida), and a bounty hunter named Ratts, and together they all go after Wildcat and his army of Filipino thugs. (and have you ever wondered why "Philippines" and "Filipino" are spelled differently?)

As you would expect, the film is chock full of B action movie clichés and conventions, but the gun action is slick, the explosions are good, and the squibs are nice and juicy (including one of the best head squibs I've ever seen). The suave and dangerously handsome Riki Takeuchi makes an excellent anti-hero (not to mention he's got amazing hair). He's an intense and sensitive criminal with a strong moral code, which can only lead him to self-destruction. Pretty Mie Yoshida provides all of the female eye candy, and even gets to shoot some bad guys (yay!). In an obvious nod to John Woo, the ridiculous climax features Joe and Ratts dressed from head to toe in sharp looking white suits as they march into Wildcat's compound armed only with handguns. They intend to go out in style and look damn good in the process. And it's also well known that a sharp dressed man with a handgun can single handedly outshoot fifty dirty Filipinos armed with submachine guns. Sure it's silly, but it's also a fairly fun and entertaining ride.