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Distrib Adam & Eve handed over Nick Orleans' mainstream BDSM movie PERFECT SECRETARY to bondage specialist Ernest Greene for a sequel and it surprisingly greatly improves on the original. As the articulate auteur Greene states in an accompanying DVD interview short subject, this "Kink lite" is given a welcome light-hearted approach.
That's because he rejects the usual stereotyping of bondage genre as dark, Gothic, brooding, etc. I personally have always lumped it in my mind alongside satanic-cult movies, due to the ritualistic violence, fetish trappings and master/cult leader figure common to both.
So TRAINING DAY is almost delightfully tongue-in-cheek, and even more impressively Greene has adopted a most unusual (and tricky) film structure to tell the tale. I was already on to the third segment before I realized what he's up to: the major sequences are shown out of order, with the climax/resolution to the story presented as a lengthy flash-forward near the beginning. The reason for this turns out to be the balancing of BDSM content with conventional sex footage -appropriate since this is a major, mainstream porn release, not a niche fetish video.
Kayden Kross does an excellent job in the difficult, ambiguous central role: a temporary secretary working for mean old taskmaster Randy Spears (relishing his heavy assignment), who practically fires her the first day on the job. As Greene astutely asserts in his interview, this boss character is the key to the project's central conceit: an impossible-to-please individual who because of this is impervious to the seductive powers of the beautiful leading lady. That makes for the tension that propels the story forward, unlike most porn where every "no" means an almost immediate "yes".
The flash-forward depicts Kayden's behavior AFTER her two weeks training at the rigorous academy for secretaries run by Ms. Brimley (fabulous redhead Justine Joli).
Then we go back in time to her entering her training, a fun, satirical look at the world Orleans created almost five years before in the debut film in the series starring Haley Paige. Tommy Gunn is the only holdover from the original cast, playing a very similar role (even dressed in a similar looking suit) as a teacher at the school, working under top dog Tom Byron and alongside wise guys Marco Banderas and Chris Cannon.
The secretaries have all signed waivers, permitting the staff to treat them roughly sexually as part of their training. The whole BDSM world gets quickly mocked as the girls are handcuffed (and one even gagged) at their desks, ordered to copy a letter by hand in an hour, forcing each one of them to use a pen in her mouth (no hands), including the gagged girl after it's been removed.
Cannon and Banderas are sort of frat boy mentality, tormenting the girls and having a hot d.p. sex scene with Mika Tan. Gunn takes buxom Shyla Stylez upstairs to his handsome red decor bedroom and treats her to forced anal sex while on-the-payroll bondage Mistress (and film's official consultant) Claire Adams ties her up in many varied ways - an artistic breakthrough for the fans that went way over my head (the way those esoteric but beloved martial arts moves went unappreciated by me as I reviewed dozens of pedestrian kung fu movies in the '80s, well aware of my limitations for not being a fan(atic)).
Along the way Kayden gets her education, resulting in the show's fabulous set-piece, a 3-way lesbian sex & bondage scene of Joli and Mistress Claire flogging our trussed up heroine. Even for non-believers, or a stray Scientologist watching the video, this well-staged vignette is a show-stopper, and that's why Greene places it at the end, rather than the chronological finisher of Kayden returning to Spears' office.
The overwhelming misogyny of Orleans' first creation is adequately diffused by genuine humor and high spirits in this edition, though clearly still there -in your face. See my separate review of Part 3 to discover the U-turn the series took when Orleans returned to the director's chair and started channeling John (Buttman) Stagliano as if possessed by the devil.
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