May. 18th, 2017

setsuled: (Skull Tree)


For an important message to all hitmen, see 1967's A Colt is My Passport (拳銃は俺のパスポート). That message; avoid finicky clients. The film's a simple story with some beautiful style and impressive, cleverly constructed action sequences.



A Colt is My Passport was directed by Takashi Nomura and not Seijun Suzuki despite starring Suzuki regular Joe Shishido and featuring cast members from Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter which had been released the previous year. The two films even have practically the same villain--Hideaki Esumi wearing the same enormous sunglasses.



The film begins with Shishido as hitman Shuji Kamimura accepting and carrying out a job from a yakuza boss to take out a rival yakuza boss. Shuji and his partner, Shun (Jerry Fujio), head for the airport afterwards but the rival syndicate and the cops both prevent the two from leaving. That's only the start of their troubles because afterwards they learn their client is angry because they didn't kill their target in precisely the right circumstances. So now everyone's after them.

For most of the film, the two guys in their crisp, cool suits lay low at a little dockside inn where a woman working there, Mina (Chitose Kobayashi), falls in love with them both.



The movie has a great soundtrack, mostly simple electric guitar reminiscent of Spaghetti Westerns. Like Tokyo Drifter, it has a lonesome musical number, performed by Shun.



Maybe this movie was an attempt by the studio to make a Seijun Suzuki movie but with all the weird stuff they hated taken out. Tokyo Drifter has plenty of cinematic and storytelling experimentation, A Colt is My Passport is a pretty straightforward story about handsome rogues ruled by a deeply felt sense of honour and the tender maiden whose heart they might break.

There are several well put together action sequences, though my favourite maybe isn't elaborate enough to be called an action sequence, just a simple, nicely understated shot of a stuntman jumping out of a car he sends into the bay.

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