2023 Calgary Underground Film Festival: Bad City (2022)

Kaiko City is plagued with poverty and crime. When a mass murder at a bathhouse occurs and yet local businessman Wataru Gojo (Lily Franky) is acquitted, the cops realize that traditional methods no longer apply.

Three members of the Violent Crimes Unit join a disgraced former police captain in jail for murder named Torada (Hitoshi Ozawa), to get evidence on Gojo, his dealings with the yakuza and even worse — his connection to South Korean organized crime and a yearning for a career in politics.

Hitoshi Ozawa is sixty years old but has made a career of playing roles just like this: hard men willing to do hard jobs no matter the cost. You may know him from Takeshi Miike’s Dead or Alive or may even go deep and know Japanese V-cinema. He’s the best part of this very good movie. And Tak Sakiguchi (Versus) is in this as a silent killer gunning for the police.

Directed by Kensuke Sonomura and written by Ozawa, this is a film filled with twists and turns but most importantly action. It also has so much of what works in Japanese crime cinema, that being the ever-twisted connection between cops and crime, with characters that have a foot in part of each world and yet pushed and pulled by concepts like duty and honor.

But this is all about the stunts and fights, too. Sonomura has made a career in stunts, from directing the action in movies like Baby AssassinsBlack Rat and The Machine Girl as well as directing Hydra. He’s also lent his fight choreography to video games including Devil May Cry 3Devil May Cry 4Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Resident Evil 3. He’s also choreographed the action scenes for some world-class directors including Mamoru Oshii, Yudai Yamaguchi, John Woo and Donnie Yen.

This movie is deliriously exciting. Make sure you catch it.

I saw this as part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, which for twenty years has been dedicated to elevating Calgary’s cultural landscape with the best in international independent cinema. Recently, CUFF was named one of the Best Horror Festivals in the World, 2022 by Dread Central, and one of the World’s 50 Best Genre Festivals and one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2021 by MovieMaker Magazine. CUFF continues to attract audiences with its programming of films that engage audiences and defy convention.

It’s running from now until April 30 and you can see the entire schedule here.

One thought on “2023 Calgary Underground Film Festival: Bad City (2022)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.