Bayside Shakedown: The Movie 2 (Odoru daisosasen 2)

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Production Company: Fuji/Pony Canyon
Year: 2003
Running Time: 138 minutes

Five years have passed in real time and in movie time and some things have changed and some have stayed the same in Bayside. Aoshima and Sumire are still partners and have still been unable to tell one another how they feel about each other, Inspector Waku is nearing retirement but is still the heart and conscious of the precinct, Yukino is more fashionable but career minded and very single, Muroi has become a Senior Superintendent at Headquarters, but Mashita is nowhere to be seen. Life in the precinct has changed as well – it now serves as a visitor center as well and happy tourists swarm around all day long asking for directions and so forth. This is driving Aoshima crazy as he has no serious crimes to become involved in. They do get the opportunity to be in a terrorist training exercise when they get to play the terrorists holding a cruise liner and the passengers hostage – but they become annoyed when the SAT (an elite SWAT like group) leader Kusakabe (Koh Takasugi) tells them to take it seriously. They end up in fact defeating the SAT team much to the embarrassment of the on looking brass and have to take a pay cut – which doesn’t endear Aoshima to his colleagues.

Finally crime comes to Bayside – three as in the previous film – the first two are fairly minor – a pretend vampire who is a serial neck biter of school girls and an “ideal” family that are in reality master pickpockets. Aoshima gets the neck biter case while Sumire leads the investigation of the pickpockets. This still isn’t what Aoshima wants though – he wants a big juicy case and thinks he has it when a murdered body is discovered all trussed up in public like a piece of modern art. His enthusiasm quickly dissipates though when Headquarters decides they should run this investigation and set up the command center in the Bayside precinct. It is decided that the investigation will be run by Ms. Okita with Muroi supporting her. She coyly asks her colleagues “It’s my first time. Be kind”, but behind this humble statement lies a cold-hearted career climbing bureaucrat. She has no interest in having the help of the local police and makes a point of telling Aoshima to keep his nose out of this and just follow orders. Muroi grimaces but keeps silent.
The killer begins to call and it is clear they need a negotiator and the first trained one on the force arrives – Mashita who has just returned from his course in Los Angeles with sunglasses and a big smile firmly in place. One look at Yukino though and his heart takes a tumble – he hasn’t forgotten her and keeps her picture with him always – but she appears only to be embarrassed. Another murder takes place and it seems that the killer is in fact a group of killers who have it in for CEO’s of businesses. They have no leadership structure and this may be the only film in history in which the cops and the crooks exchange insults over the best type of organization structure to have! Aoshima and Sumire are ordered to protect a witness and Okita cheers them up by telling them that “I can’t risk my people. You be the shield”. Muroi purses his lips and remains silent – for now. Like all the Bayside films the pace quickens as the film progresses until it goes into frenzied mode towards the end – Yukino gets kidnapped, Mashita heads into the field and one of the crew takes a bullet through the chest – this is when the Bayside films excel – everyone pulls together, emotions hit the ceiling and the theme song begins to play. It’s Bayside time.
This isn’t as strong as the first film – at 138 minutes it’s simply too long – and it may have too many similarities to the first film. That though is also its strength – again this is based on a TV show and it doesn’t really try to break out of being exactly what its roots are – and so it makes sense that most things stay the same. That’s clearly what the audience wanted as this went on to generate huge business at the box office. The actors and characters really are appealing and are the main strength of the films – all of them are very distinct even if somewhat stock in nature. I have to admit to a big squishy soft spot for Sumire and the actress who plays her Eri Fukatsu. She is a huge TV star having appeared in loads of these mini-series type of shows but also has a solid film career with “Space Travelers” (the teller) and “Like Asura” where she is wonderful as the awkward nerdy sister and nearly unrecognizable. Bring on the next one, please.

My rating for this film: 7.5