HIGH KICK GIRL [HAI KIKKU GARU! | ハイキック・ガール!]

JAPAN 2009  Directed: Fuyuhiko Nishi  Produced by: Fuyuhiko Nishi, Ken Nakanishi Written by: Fuyuhiko Nishi, Yoshikatsu Kimura  Music: Tomoo Misato Cast: Rina Takeda, Tatsuya Naka, Sayaka Akimoto, Kyoji Amano, Mayu Gamou

We all love cute chicks kicking high and the shit out of the villains, but hardly any movie has captured the same sexy coolness of Hong Kong’s girls ’n guns and martial arts flicks from the 80’s and 90’s. Never ever since have fighting femme fatales looked better on-screen than then.

Occasionally there have been good efforts from various corners of the world, but most films feel constructed and fabricated just to fit the genre label. The best films of the genre didn’t even know they had a label or would get a label in the future when they were filmed, and hence were more authentic than anything ever since (even though not necessarily always great movies).

Last year’s HIGH KICK GIRL unfortunately continues the tradition of made-for-those-who-are-looking-for-fighting-femme-fatales films and tortures us with a tedious script, pointless dialogues and more clichés than you can imagine. Black dresses for the bad guys? Dear lord.

Therefore I am not sure if it is bad or actually good that HIGH KICK GIRL is wasting 50% of its 81 minutes running time on repeating every single action scene twice (sic!), once in slow-motion. They probably thought the action choreography is tops when in fact it is not – most of it is lame and lacks impact. Those who know martial arts will probably lol.

Some scenes are pretty funny though, but it’s hardly worth sitting through the film for two or three short highlights. HIGH KICK GIRL is neither satisfying as action movie, nor as martial arts or girls ‘n guns film, nor as comedy. So don’t believe the hype and rather get one of those old dusty VHS from the shelf that you bought in Hong Kong before ’97 or that you copied from a copy of a copy of a friend. No matter what’s on it, chances are good that it’s better than HIGH KICK GIRL.

J.


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