"Showdown in Little Tokyo," however, is so dumb it makes "The Hitman" look like Oscar material. And sleepy-eyed Dolph Lundgren makes Norris look positively lively.
To call this one over the top is to understate, as Lundgren is such a super-cop he is able to leap over a car as it races toward him, without even skidding on the roof.
Lundgren's beat is the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles, where he is reluctantly teamed with Brandon Lee (real-life son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee). The gimmick here is that Lundgren is an American who was raised in Japan, while Lee is a Japanese-American who's never been out of the valley. Naturally, this provides fodder for lame ethnic jokes.
Lee, who seems to be perpetually grinning, does make one concession to his heritage he's a martial arts expert. So is Lundgren, of course, which allows for plenty of kick-'em-up karate fights.5 comments on this story
But these guys are hardly a match for the "Lethal Weapon"-style antics of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, though that's apparently what they are aiming for. The plot has them battling sadistic Japanese drug-dealers whose stock in trade is decapitations. There is also a brutal rape, followed by a decapitation videotaped by the chief bad guy, of course.
And in every other scene there are several unclothed women whose duties seem to be little more than standing around. I kept wondering if they weren't rather chilly.
"Showdown in Little Tokyo" is one of the more offensive films in this genre, right down there with Brian Bosworth's "Stone Cold."
It's rated R for violence, nudity, profanity, sex and drug abuse.