That was my reaction when the closing credits of "Zero Woman Returns" started rolling. Given that this was the last "Zero Woman" film made until 2004, there is the strong possibility that the filmmakers wanted to finish off the series but leave a window open for future installments as well, so they made a series of false endings and then a baffling real one.
This time, Rei's mission is to go undercover and find out more about the president of a company who may be involved in illegal smuggling and selling of confiscated goods, using his legitimate business as a front. The man is quite impressed by Rei, and hires her as his assistant. But his ambitious plans will soon get out of hand....
Rei is played this time by Saori Ono, and like all the actresses before her, she brings something of her own to the role: a sense of playfulness and humor (before things get dark, that is). She also gets into a couple of tight spots, and has to use her quick thinking & reflexes to get out of them. The film is better-paced than most (if not all) of its predecessors, and has some memorable bloody bits; even the story is engaging for a while, before it turns into a mess at the end. Which brings me back to where I started, and to the reason I can't give this anything more than ** out of 4 stars.
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