Directed by Yugo Sakamoto
Palace Nova Eastend Cinema
Adelaide Film Festival
I like Kill Bill. I like Kick Ass. I like Deadpool. These films deliver fast action sequences, humorous dialogue, lovable anti-heroes, clever concepts, – excessive, almost comical amounts of blood and gore – all while suspending reality long enough to engross you in a world where a fatal fight could be around any corner.
Yugo Sakamoto’s Baby Assassins is a femme-forward, low-budget take on the assassin-for-hire action genre. Two teenage girls, the bubbly, bright and extroverted Chisato (Akari Takaishi) and the sullen and introverted Mahilo (Saori Izawa) are not quite yet 20, graduating high school and navigating the world trying to look ‘normal’ when they are anything but. They live together, try to hold down regular day jobs and sometimes struggle to remember where they stashed their guns for their next hit.
Chasato relishes the chance to get out into the world, make friends and experience new things while Mahilo really doesn’t see the point of it all. Together they support each other through the mundane reality of life, dealing with people making small talk, working out what to have for dinner all the while – killing people on practically a daily basis.
A spanner is thrown into the works when they cross paths with the Yakuza and have to balance regular life, killing for profit and killing for survival.
Yes, let’s be clear, the film is low budget, the combination of wide angle and hand held camera work was purposeful and true to the genre even though not as masterfully executed as its high budget counterparts however I believe this combined with a heavy rock soundtrack and a whole lot of blood just added to the overall charm.
There are no huge themes or greater meanings however there is a strong exploration of female friendships, some commentary on modern gender dynamics and of course, a lot of action. This might not be one that will win high praise from film critics but as far as a night in with a giant bag of popcorn goes, you can’t go too wrong with this bucket of fun.