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In war-torn Japan, the Tokugawa Shogun, desperate to restore peace to his people, orders the assassination of the hostile warlords. A beautiful young woman is raised from birth with nine other orphans, to become an assassin. Her name is AZUMI, the ultimate assassin.Written by
A great action flick, if you can withstand the melodrama
AZUMI, from what I can tell on IMDB, is often compared to the directors big hit, VERSUS, which is a god awful comparison that should have never been made in the first place. It's like comparing KILL BILL with RESERVOIR DOGS just because Tarentino directed both films. While VERSUS is a drawn (way) out, laughable, mindless, B-rated zombie/action spoof, AZUMI is a very serious swordplay/martial arts film about a band of teenagers trained from a young age to assassinate those who would start another bloody civil war.
I could easily figure out that this was a Kitamura film by spotting out similarites between this and his past films. AZUMI is full of non-stop action, great camera shots, interesting characters, and buckets of blood. But this is all slowed down by overexaggerated acting, god awful dialogue, and sometimes, AZUMI is just plain melodramatic. Like BATTLE ROYALE, AZUMI has one too many mushy mushy scenes.
Another Kitamura trademark is how this film is way too drawn out. Just when you think "Wow, such a perfect ending", Kitamura ends AZUMI off with 10 more minutes of footage that is a bad attempt at making a cliffhanger finish.
Enough complaining, because in all honesty, I really enjoyed AZUMI. Azumi, herself, kicks so much ass, and is brilliant in her performance. My favorite scene being when the group is arguing over what to do with their poisoned comrad.
I give AZUMI an 8 out of 10 and is up there with some of my all time favorite Asian films.
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