3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A FISTFUL OF YEN,
This review is from: Gun Crazy - A Woman From Nowhere (DVD)
Japan has always been fascinated by American Westerns and vice versa, the Western has been influenced by the Samurai movies of Kurosawa. The lone gunman or the lone samurai, what's the difference? Gun Crazy: A Woman From Nowhere is almost a direct homage to the films of Sergio Leone, in particular the Clint Eastwood trilogy which in turn were homages to Kurosawa.
The movie begins with two Japanese cops on the verge of being torn in half by wires connecting their arms and legs to two trucks. That's when we're introduced to Tojo, the crime boss that runs the town of Tsuson. Fast forward 15 years as a mysterious bounty hunter named Saki, played by the luscious, maybe too luscious, Ryoko Yonekura in her action film debut. She arrives on her motorcycle just in time to see two American soldiers execute a man for disappointing their boss Tojo. They shoot Saki's motorcycle as a warning. She makes friends with a mechanic to fix her bike and learns from him that the entire town and the bordering Amercian military base are controlled by Tojo. Saki has been hired to kill him. The only allies she has is the mechanic and the last policeman left in town, who just happens to be a drunk. When she learns Tojo is going to hijack a shipment of laundered money, to the tune of 2 million dollars, from the US forces, Saki decides to lay a trap.
Yes, Gun Crazy is a B-movie. You can tell they didn't have a lot of money to work with. Most of the fight scenes show close-ups of guns shooting or of facial expressions. The only shots they linger on are bullet impacts. Well, at least this way they didn't have to hire fight choreographers. In one scene it almost looks like someone else's leg comes off the screen and kicks for Yonekura. Saki seems to move more like a model, she has kind of a sloppy walk like she's gonna trip at any moment. There's some element of charm in the movie even in its shortcomings. You can tell the director is really sincere in his storytelling, even though he doesn't have the budget. There are nice iconic moments in the film. Overall, the film is very well-acted, especially the police chief and the mechanic. Ryoko has some good moments, and shines best in moments of subtlety.
There is a sequel which will be released on August 24, 2004. It is rated 17+ for some language and gore. It has Japanese 2.0 sound and 5.1 English which has a pretty good dub. This dvd also features an interview with Ryoko Yonekura.
I would also recommend the film Princess Blade, The Man Without a Name Trilogy of Sergio Leone, Yojimbo and Sanjuro by Kurosawa, Kill Bill, and the anime series Noir if you liked this film.