Tokyo Filming Locations: Pt VII – Into The Sun

Steven Seagal delivers what he’s best at (?) in this 2005 film and by that I can only mean that he plays the one-man killing machine as he takes on Japanese yakuza. Japan Sword shop at 3-8-1 Toranomon (below) is the first location to feature on 11 mins and it is seen again after 24 and 37 mins. I’m not certain but I don’t think the Chinatown seen on 15 mins is the one in Yokohama or just one from some place in the USA.

 

Fusion nightclub (below left) can be seen on 23 & 69 mins but it isn’t actually a club for it is a restaurant at 13-7-8 Roppongi in Minato-ku. No doubting that its the one and only Tsukiji Fish Market (below right) which appears after 25, 51 and 71 mins.

 

 

The beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens (below) are within a stones throw of the fish market and play host to Seagal’s proposal to Nayako. Thats around the 41 min mark and isn’t exactly a moving scene as he speaks English and she speaks Japanese as happens throughout the movie when they appear on screen together. The gardens are shown once more in the films final moments (91 mins) with a reflective Seagal cutting a lonesome figure on one of the places bridges.

     

The young rookie FBI Agent Sean escapes from the grasp of the bad guys at Tsukiji Fish Market via taxi and then suddenly (55 mins) he’s being driven down Yasukuni Dori (below) whilst he talks on the phone to his mentor.

 

 

66 mins are on the clock when Zojoji temple (below left) in the foreground of Tokyo Tower makes its big screen (well, bargain bin dvd!) debut. There’s some meeting between the baddies though god knows why they chose to meet at such a public place!

  

On the other side of Tokyo Tower down a little side street (above right) is where Seagal’s fiance Nayako is brutally murdered after 71 mins having just left Fusion. Rainbow Bridge makes its usual appearance in any western film set in Japan shortly after that.

Review: Films Set In Japan – ‘Into The Sun’ (2005)

Love him or hate him Steven Seagal films do a job. Admittedly its usually the same job and that is usally wooden acting, bad dialogue, unrealistic action scenes, pathetic plots and heavy duty martial arts action combat where the bad guys are taken on and defeated by the hero of the hour. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that ‘Into The Sun’ is no different.

Its certainly no ‘Under Siege’ but this 2005 film is actually better than I thought it would be. It may be a fairly average film full of clichés but its entertaining enough with some magnificent Tokyo landscape on show including Shinjuku, Hamarikyu Gardens, Zojoji temple, Tsukiji fish market and Tokyo Tower. It starts off with a fairly pointless pre-titles action scene in Burma (in reality it was shot in Chiang Mai in Thailand) before the typical Asian strings kick in as the opening titles begin. We then see the usual aerial shots of Tokyo and then a governor is suddenly assassinated and that can only mean its time for Seagal’s character to enter the scene and save the day. I can’t remember his name but that doesn’t really matter when he basically plays the same character in every film he ever does!

Here, he is an ex-CIA agent who is hired to track down the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) responsible for the killing. In true movie-style another agent is assigned to work with him who just doesn’t possess the knowledge and understanding of Japanese customs and the Yakuza that Seagal does.

What is really stupid is the choice of language used in some scenes. The Japanese and Chinese characters speak to each other in broken English and whilst Seagal’s character often speaks in Japanese he then uses English with his Japanese fiancée who communicates in Japanese. This fairly unconvincing romance develops amid the beauty of Hamarikyu Gardens and inevitably she is killed and it then becomes personal and he swears revenge on the bad guys. Such an original formula eh!