Friday, February 12, 2016

Azumi (2003)

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

Writers: Yu Koyama, Mataichiro Yamamoto, Isao Kiriyama

Composer: Taro Iwashiro

Starring: Aya Ueto, Kenji Kohashi, Hiroki Narimiya, Takatoshi Kaneko, Yuma Ishigaki, Yasuomi Sano, Shinji Suzuki, Eita, Shogo Yamaguchi, Shun Oguri, Jo Odagiri

More info: IMDb

Tagline: From the ravages of war rises the ultimate assassin.

Plot: Raised to deal in cold blooded death, the teenage assassin girl Azumi must defeat three evil warlords while also battling her own heart.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

If you should start watching this and find it too slow, do not give up on it until after the kids leave their mountain home and begin their journey.  Their Master makes them do something that will splendidly fuck you up and it's awesome.  There's lots of gore throughout the picture and a lot of people die, especially at the end.  The evil assassin in white, Bijomura Mogami (the Japanese equivalent to Billy Drago), is a lot of fun and he's a refreshingly fun character.  The cast does a fine job and all and I liked the picture.  It ends up being a better film than it started out as.  If there's one issue I've got it's the odd shots that you'd expect from a much lesser film.   Hell, even Peter Jackson had a handful of shots in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy that felt like something a low budget film maker (with some talent, mind you) would use but they stood out in a proper, polished film.  I knew by the DVD text that this director is the same guy behind VERSUS (2000) which I dug.  The action was great.  But I was surprised to see that he also made THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008).  I like his work and I'll have to check out more of it.  Good stuff.

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