HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lake Mungo
One-Eyed Jacks
20th Century Women
Monster Trucks
Lookout, The
Black Belt
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
Life
Hundra
Wonder Woman
Francesca
   
 
Newest Articles
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
   
 
  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 7507 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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: