Meet the meanest and most lethal karate master ever to rule the streets. He’s Sonny Chiba, one of the greatest martial arts actors to ignite the screen. In The Street Fighter, Chiba stars as Terry Tsurugi, a mercenary who has been hired by both the yakuza and the mafia to kidnap a wealthy heiress, but when he isn’t paid, a violent clash will ensue.
Fukasaku and his team broke with the longstanding studio tradition of casting marquee idols as honorable, kimono-clad heroes, defending their gang bosses against unscrupulous villains, and instead adapted true accounts torn from the headlines, shot in a documentary-like style, and with few clear-cut heroes or villains. The vibrancy and dynamism of the filmmaking, plus its shocking violence, Shakespearean plotlines, and wide tapestry of characters, launched a revolutionary new genre, establishing the series as one of the great masterpieces of world crime cinema.