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Score 2
cast: Hitoshi Ozawa, Aya Nakamura, Kazuyoshi Ozawa, Hiroshi Miyasaka, and Shun Ehara

writer and director: Hitoshi Ozawa

90 minutes (18) 1997
widescreen ratio 16:9
Tokyo Bullet DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Rob Marshall
Not to be confused with recent Hollywood movie The Score (a vehicle for Robert De Niro and Edward Norton), this Japanese action thriller shot in the Philippines is a typically explosive but cheaper Asian version of those stylish yet bloodthirsty American action films like Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Heat (1995).
   In the first picture, our gang of thieves got away with a 500 million yen heist. Now, after one member of the group is killed in a car accident, they reassemble to pick up and divide the loot, but find that an amusement park has been built on the site where the cash was stashed. The crooks use pseudonyms Jack (Hitoshi Ozawa, who also wrote and directed this actioner), Spade (Kazuyoshi Ozawa), Diamond (Hiroshi Miyasaka), Club (Shun Ehara), King (Gota Tate), and Queen (blonde Aya Nakamura, making the most of her great action role) in order to maintain their anonymity from each other. But the doggedly persistent cops, led by Anan (Takashi Ukaji), still pursuing the robbers with playing card monikers, are just as corrupt as the villains, and soon after nightfall an extended gun battle breaks out among the carousels and carnival attractions of the labyrinthine park.
   Score 2 (aka: The Big Fight) features enough unexpected double-crosses and shotgun-blasting shootouts to satisfy fans of underworld intrigue and suspenseful cat 'n' mouse chases. The characters are larger-than-life noir stereotypes, and the bad boy cops are hardboiled lawbreakers driven by greed. If you like your heroic bloodshed stylish and dramatic in the John Woo tradition, this is a must!
   Disc extras: cast mugshots, production stills gallery, original trailer, and some previews of other titles from this DVD-only label.