Monday, 3 September 2007
Azumi (2003) - Ryuhei Kitamura
Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, Azumi is a simple story told fairly well with plenty of fighting and blood-spilling thrown in to keep the audience entertained. The story is essentially one of assassins being sent out into the world to kill bad men, only to start questioning their actions when they come across nice people and witness innocents being slain. I could probably throw in a quote here about how along with great power comes responsibility, only in Azumi the assassins have no responsibilities, are are actively encouraged not to feel guilt. Azumi herself, is the only woman in the group, the fastest and most talented of all of them it is abundantly clear from the first reel that she is the one who will save the day in the end.
Considering the body-count (very high - 3 figures at least), explosions and other sorts of violence it's surprising that such a film could be as dull and boring as this. The dialogue is monotonous and - for the mostpart - the editing of the action scenes is choppy beyond distraction, throw in far far too much slow motion and an awful electric guitar soundtrack and the whole thing gets quite annoying very quickly indeed. There's not much required of the actors here, other than to talk solemnly and fight - which is a pity because one or two hint at some genuine talent.
With cliché compounding cliché, and no blood-letting we haven't already seen before in Kill Bill i wouldn't recommend this to anyone. There are much, much better Samurai flicks out there, and much better Japanese film-makers too.