Did you know that there is a ranking of the best assassins of Japan? In the spirit of 1967's Branded To Kill, also by director Suzuki Seijun, comes Pistol Opera. The assassin ranked third is out to kill the first and move herself up the ladder of hierarchy. What follows is drama, action, a mysterious visitor, an impolite manhandling of a man in a wheelchair, Japanese costumes, several employment offers, a couch and even a pre-teen girl.Written by
I was eager to see "Pistol Opera" for a variety of reasons. I had recently seen "Branded to Kill" and the idea of a follow-up/sequel/remake by the same director intrigued me. Furthermore, I am a fan of the lead actress, Makiko Esumi, from her work on Japanese TV.
Sadly, this film goes nowhere...slowly. The plot seemed simple enough but within minutes I was lost. These "professional killers" spend nearly the entire film killing each other which begs the question who is employing these people and what purpose they serve. Lots of these scenes look wonderful and have some fun ideas, but nothing makes any sense. Characters deliver long, meandering soliloquies into the camera, flip-flopping from Japanese to English and back again. Neither language adds any clarity to the circumstances. The whole thing feels like some kind of experimental stage play, especially the final showdown where characters enter and exit bizarre scenery accompanied by strange, nearly naked dancers.
What the hell?
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