(director/writer: Yugo Sakamoto; cinematographer: Moritada Iju; editor: Yugo Sakamoto; cast: Akari Takaishi (Chisato), Saori Izawa (Mahiro), Masanori Mimoto (Yakuza head), (Mr. Tasaka),Mone Akitani (Himari), Satoshi Uekiya (Kazuaki); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Riku Sumida, Tsuyoshi Goto; A Well Go USA release; 2021-Japan-in Japanese with English subtitles)
“Low-budget thriller that winsomely blends together action and comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The 25-year-old Yugo Sakamoto (“Slaughter Jap”/”A Janitor”) directs and writes this low-budget thriller that winsomely blends together action and comedy.
The extroverted but laid back Chisato (Akari Takaishi) and the introverted sweetie but deadly sociopath killer Mahilo (Saori Izawa, a martial artist and stunt worker) are teenage girls who soon will graduate from high school. Their mysterious Yakuza boss orders them to get legit part-time jobs and be roommates to avoid any suspicion over their large bank accounts. On one gang-related job they assassinate an important Yakuza member. When identified as the assassins, they must fight back by working together to survive.
The film’s fun is in watching the mismatched girls argue as roommates, interview for jobs they hate and just try to tolerate each other. The violence comes when the Yakuza mobster (Masanori Mimoto) sends his boys after the girls when they mess with the wrong gang. They are led by his wacky offspring (Mone Akitani & Satoshi Uekiya). It leads to a gang fight at an abandoned warehouse, in the climax.
Both Akari Takaishi and Saori Izawa turn in strong performances and are likeable characters in this goofy film.
Of note, the fight scenes are expertly choreographed by Kensuke Sonomura.
It screened at the Glasgow Film Festival 2022.
REVIEWED ON 7/20/2022 GRADE: B –