The Street Fighter (Japan 1974)

Rating: ***
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shiomi

Wacky and extremely violent. Takuma "Terry" Tsurugi (Sonny Chiba) is a hitman whose only love is money. He gets hired to spring a criminal from jail, only to end up being double-crossed by him. Naturally, revenge is right around the corner. Like many Japanese films, the martial arts sequences aren't very flashy or exciting, but Sonny Chiba is definitely a hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners bad-ass. His bug-eyed intensity and outrageous facial expressions are both comical and unsettling at the same time. Also like many Japanese films, the pacing is challenging, but the final fight on the villain's boat speeds things up a bit.