Thursday, May 5, 2022

Tokyo Vice - The Test

There is no murder in Japan. Based on the real experiences of American journalist Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) working in Tokyo (although earning scrutiny for the liberties it takes with the source material), the first episode of Tokyo Vice introduces us to Jake who earns his way as the first foreign reporter for a conservative Japanese newspaper. Covering the crime beat, Jake struggles with how crime is reported in Japan where the press print the official police statement of a crime which almost never entertains the possibility of murder (even for a man stabbed multiple times and left for dead).

Directed by Michael Mann, the first episode of the series has a cinematic feel, especially when Jake dives into the seedier side of Tokyo. Even the sequences involving Jake studying for the test and taking it in a room full of native Japanese speakers, what could easily be bland filler content, still offers some pace while underlying how much of an outsider to Japan our protagonist is. Despite the rigidness of his assignments, and the paper's complete disinterest in anything more, Jake continues to look for the larger story which leads him to his first Yakuza connection and the beginnings of a story big enough to lead him into direct conflict with the organization as is teased in the series' opening scene.

  • Title: Tokyo Vice - The Test
  • IMDb: link

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