Bad City (2022) Review



Bad City contains some of my favourite fight scenes of the year mostly thanks to Tak Sakaguchi who moves like no one I’ve ever seen. There is the odd pacing issue but the fight scenes more than make up for it, especially during the action-packed final 30 minutes.

Plot: Kaiko City is plagued with poverty and crime. When a corrupt businessman decides to run for mayor and starts eliminating opponents from the rival mafia, a former police captain serving time for murder is secretly released and put in charge of a special task force to arrest him.

Review: I had a feeling Bad City was going to be awesome from the trailer and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a tale of violence and corruption with Tak Sakaguchi on villain duties playing a henchman (whose name I don’t think we ever hear). Tak is one of my all-time favourite on-screen fighters as he moves like no one I’ve ever seen and he’s so enigmatic we never really know much about him. He doesn’t say a word in this movie and he’s never been one for big speeches anyway; he usually lets his fists and feet do the talking and that’s what he does here.

In terms of the good guys Hitoshi Ozawa plays the formerly incarcerated police Captain Torada who is tough as nails and utterly believable; any time his team starts to falter he gives them a kick up the ass and to not be sentimental. I also loved Akane Sakanoue as the rookie cop Nohara who starts out petrified of pretty much everything but grows into this total warrior by the end.

The pacing isn’t quite as fast as it maybe could be with it dragging a little in the first 40 minutes but it more than makes up for it with some brutally effective fight scenes and the last 30 minutes is action nirvana. I love how the fights aren’t flashy but everything feels desperate and real with our heroes literally fighting for their lives.

The reveal about one of the villains towards the end is predictable and I worked that out early on but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment factor.

Overall, Bad City is Tak Sakaguchi at his best (even if he is playing a villain) with some enthralling fight scenes and memorable characters. The pacing is a little off in the first half but it more than makes up for it in the finale.