The last time I mentioned anything connected with Aya Ueto the hits to the site rocketed and set off a chain reaction which completely knocked out the server the site was running on back then. You would have thought I’d learnt my lesson but in the interests of bringing you the latest up-to-date news here I am doing it again!
Yes, almost exactly one year later, the pint-sized sword-wielding assassin is back in Azumi 2 which picks up shortly after the events of the first film. In true sequel tradition she is of course after closure to keep the nation from falling into civil war. She has one war lord left to kill but he is, of course, ridiculously guarded by all sorts of nasty characters.
An interesting addition to the cast is Chiaki Kuriyama (pictured above, right) who was of course in Battle Royale and Kill Bill. Again she plays an innocent looking girl who gets a kick out of killing people and eventually meets a sticky end – will she every do anything else??! Aside from this notable addition and a bunch of anonymous ninjas, the rest of the cast is pretty minimal and no-one really stands out.
Azumi 2 promises much and whilst it starts of quite well it falls long short of the original. Gone is the tension and the drama – you know she’s going to kill him no matter how many ridiculously dressed assailants get in her way. Gone also are the prolonged battle scenes which were great in the first film, all that is left are sporadic tussles which have no real feeling of danger to them. Added to this the question of how a character she killed in the last film is magically alive in this one is never really explained (perhaps I missed something here!). Unfortunately it’s a pretty weak sequel and probably not worth seeing unless your an Aya fan. As ever it’s a shame because it could have been so much better in different hands (6/10).