Words by Jason Sewald
Jackie Chan is one of my favourite actors of all time and not without good reason. His martial arts expertise, humour and stunts have captured the hearts of my parents’ generation, my generation and I’m sure, future generations to come. However, today’s Hidden Gems does not feature his usual self but a more serious role from Chan: the Shinjuku Incident.
Shinjuku Incident follows the story of an illegal immigrant named Steelhead, played by Chan, who enters Japan searching for his fiance. While in Japan, he learns how to survive in the underworld and saves a Japanese detective’s life, and then the story progresses from there.
The movie would be considered a Crime Drama which features little to no Jackie Chan’s usual hijinks or stunts. Instead, it’s a film that demands the watcher not to view Jackie as the “Fun fighting expert” but a serious actor who has spent years perfecting his craft. That effort shines through because, for the duration of the film, you do not see him as “Jackie Chan” – but as Steelhead, who is struggling to adapt to a new life as an illegal immigrant but also a determined man who sees all his goals through to the end.
This film, for me, is an excellent example of a hidden gem because, as far as I’m aware, not too many people have watched it let alone heard of it. Overall, Shinjuku Incident is a fantastic film that shows an entirely different side from Jackie Chan, and it’s all the better for it.