Friday, September 12, 2014

TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN (1960) - Seijun Suzuki

I think it's safe to say that this early Nikkatsu noir programmer will never fall prey to the Hollywood remake machine. Who today would buy a prison security guard taking the initiative to investigate the prison van sniper shooting that got him suspended for six months and doing his amateur sleuthing entirely on his own, entirely without pay and at great risk to his own safety? In this economy? The fact that this mild mannered guard goes Columbo/Dirty Harry without a relative being killed in the crossfire...well, it almost seems quaint.

Take Aim, by later Suzuki style standards, is rather quaint. It's one of his pre-color, pre-"crazy" B pictures a few years before he started bucking against genre conventions and the studio brass. There are, however, some inspired compositions, some interesting business with bows and arrows (see below), a better than average train yard climax. The plot might be a little needlessly convoluted for a movie less than 80 minutes. That said, in that short run time rarely was I bored. Take Aim...but maybe after you've seen a few other Suzuki classics first.

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