Top critical review
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well-endowed hitwoman vs. drunkard killer
on November 11, 2002
This installment in the ZERO WOMAN series is a standard but enjoyable Japanese girl-with-gun direct-to-video movie. The story revolves around hitwoman Rei, who is assigned to kill the leading personel of a criminal company. This turns out to be not an easy task, since the bad guys hire professional killer Katsumura, an expert despite his problematic drinking habits. Rei and Katsu fall for one another (hence the title). Things turn bad when the gangsters kidnapp Katsu's girlfriend Tomomi to put pressure on the assassin to kill Rei. Will Katsu do as ordered? Or will they team up? Is Rei willing to fulfill her assignment by killing all the gangsters, including her lover?
Well, watch for yourself...
Busty Kumiko TAKEDA may not be much of an actress and neither is she my favorite ZERO WOMAN, but she is undeniably very good looking and the script provides her with many opportunities to show her naked ample assets. In this installment of the series her character suffers from flashbacks of a trauma ( her policeman father attempted suicide after shooting dead his unfaithful wife and her lover, and in the hospital young Rei pulled away the oxygen mask from his face resulting in his death), so the ZERO WOMAN is an unstable, insecure and angstridden killer unlike in the other entries. So Rei is not very convincing as professional killer. And her drunkard assassin lover is a total loser!
As far as I am concerned I didn't like this pseudo-psychological characterization too much.
On the up side there is plenty of violence, nudity and sex on display. The impact of the bullets is shown quite gory with lots of blood spraying around.(As far as Rei's boss is concerned, thank God there's Kevlar!) The sleazy gangster boss who is into S/M adds to the entertainment value.
Camerawork is also fine. And I really liked the score and the rather cynical ending...
The film is presented letterboxed (in Japan also direct-to-video films are presented this way in order to give it a more "cinematic" look). Subtitles are easy on the eyes. Extras include the film's trailer, additional trailers for several other ASIAN PULP releases, a "meet the characters" section and trivia. This last extra consists of a multiple choice quiz, where you are asked to answer questions about the film by highlighting the correct answer with your remote. If the answer is correct, you are awarded with a short scene from the movie and a caption like "You are a genius!". Silly, but fun!
Overall: Definitely not a must-have, but good entertainment nonetheless.