HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Princess Blade Slice Of The ActionBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Stars: Yumiko Shaku, Hideaki Ito, Shirô Sano, Yoichi Numata, Kyusaku Shimada, Yoko Maki
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A loose remake of the Japanese 1973 movie Shurayuki-Hime (itself based on a manga from the same year), Princess Blade is a stylishly made, occasionally spectacular but unremmitingly grim sci-fi swordplay yarn. It's set in an unspecified future, where law and order have broken down and the king's former blade-wielding assassins, the Takemikazuchi, operate as hitmen for hire. Their youngest member, Yuki (Yumiko Shaku), learns on her 20th birthday that she is the only one with pure Takemikazuchi blood, and that her mother was murdered when she was just five by Byakurai (Kyusaku Shimada), their current leader. A confrontation with Byakurai forces Yuki to go on the run, and soon she meets Takashi (Hideaki Ito), a mechanic and reluctant terrorist.

This is a film that takes itself very seriously indeed. At one point Takashi asks Yuki if she ever smiles... director Shinsuke Sato could be asked the same question. These characters may be surrounded by tragedy, pain and death, but a few laughs, no matter how black, never go amiss. Problem is, it's hard to feel much sympathy for them – Sato maintains a cold, distant tone throughout and the downbeat outcome is never in much doubt. Takashi is probably the most likable character – as well as the moral anguish he suffers about his terrorist activities, he has to look after autistic sister Aya, who was viscously attacked and gang-raped years before.

The film constantly hints at interesting ideas but frequently fails to realise them fully – it's never made clear exactly who Takashi is conducting his terror campaign against, and the history of the Takemikazuchi remains confused. No doubt the original comic book explained all this, but in his attempts to streamline his film, Sato leaves the narrative feeling distinctly under-nourished.

Sato makes the most of his budget – there's some impressive visuals and CGI'd futuristic landscapes, and the film does come alive during the Donnie Yen-choreographed swordplay sequences, which are blisteringly fast and thrillingly edited. But there's not enough of them, and the action-free middle 45 minutes really drags its heels. Decently crafted, but not always a great deal of fun.

Aka: Shurayuki-Hime
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 8004 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Shinsuke Sato  (1970 - )

Writer, director and games developer. Sato won the Grand Prix at Japan's Pia Film Festival in 1994 for his short film Tsukishima Kyoso, and went on to direct Seimon Mae Yuki, Love Song, the sci-fi actioner Princess Blade and manga adaptation Gantz. Also worked on the PlayStation 2 version of Namco's Tekken 4.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: