Totsunyu Seyo! Asama Sanso Jiken (2002)

Run Time - 133 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Jonathan Crow

Following up on his smash-hit Kinyu Fushuku Retto Jubake about corporate corruption, Masato Harada directs this big-budget police drama about the infamous ten-day police siege of a band of radicals in the hills near Karuizawa in 1972. Adapted from the memoirs of top cop and soon-to-be Cabinet official Atsuyuki Sassa, the film is unapologetically one-sided, detailing the police's struggle to keep the body count down and society safe. The film opens with Sassa (Koji Yakusho) and his superiors dealing with a rash of shootings, bombings and kidnaps by the Red Army. When a hostage situation arises in that cabin in Karuizawa, Sassa's boss, Gotoda (Makoto Fuijta), insists that he head up the police response. Gotoda also gives him series of seemingly impossible conditions: no radicals are to be killed (lest they be made into martyrs), no demands are to be appeased, and no police should be placed in harm's way. When arriving on the scene, Sassa soon realizes that the political situation behind battle lines is just as ticklish as those in front. The local police are none too thrilled to have the Metropolitan Police Department (the de facto national police) in their backyard, while the political backbiting continues at the office.