Sleepless Town

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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Gang war melodrama (adapted from a pulp novel and directed by a Hong Kong émigré), designed to capitalise on Taiwanese-Japanese actor Kaneshiro's sudden rise to megastardom in Japan. He plays Liu Kenichi, a mixed-race fence for stolen goods in Kabuki-cho, the red light area of Shinjuku. With only a seriously untrustworthy femme fatale on his back, he finds himself given three days to track down a psychotic loner wanted by the city's Shanghai triads. This had the potential to be a Chinese riposte to Shinjuku Triad Society, albeit without the ultraviolence and gay sex, but it fails for two reasons. One, it's ridiculously complicated: too many factions and betrayals, an absurd quadruple-cross climax. Two, it's too goddam tame: all sleek noir style and no bad-attitude grit. Seijun Suzuki (present in a cameo) did it all much, much better 25 years earlier.

Release details

Duration: 122 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lee Chi-Ngai
Screenwriter: Lee Chi-Ngai, Hisashi Nozawa
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro
Mirai Yamamoto
Eric Tsang
Seijun Suzuki
Lang Sihung
Tomoro Taguchi
Kippei Shiina
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