25 user 24 critic

Sky High (2003)

A detective hunts a killer who is removing girls hearts. When his own fiancée falls victim to the killer, the detective discovers the otherworldly intentions of the killer and is helped from beyond the grave by his fiancée.


Ryûhei Kitamura


Tsutomu Takahashi (comic book), Isao Kiriyama (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the near future, Japan is ruled once more by a monarchy. But, rebels opposed to this rule seek to overthrow the government. The House of Takemikazuchi, a band of assassins is hired by ... See full summary »

Director: Shinsuke Sato
Stars: Yumiko Shaku, Hideaki Itô, Yôichi Numata
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A Shaolin Monk comes to the United States to take care of his deceased brother's son. He establishes a school with a former student who leads him into trouble with the Russian Mafia.

Director: Peng Zhang Li
Stars: Cindy Carino, Robert Christie, Matt Harlan Cohen
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ikko, the six year old daughter of a yakuza gang boss witnesses the brutal slaying of her parents and is only saved from sharing their fate by an underground hitwoman who goes by the ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Ishii
Stars: Riona Hazuki, Reiko Takashima, Jinpachi Nezu
November 10th (2015)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Musa, a thirteen-year-old shoe shiner, with Yumna, undergoes destiny through their adventure of waging war during the war time. Will they manage to bring peace among the troops keeping on fighting for nothing?

Director: Aryanto Yuniawan
Stars: Reza Rahadian, Keagan Kang, Marlon Dance-Hooi
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jason Scott Lee (Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story), Korean heartthrob Jang Hyuk (Windstruck, Volcano High), and Singapore's A-list artiste Fann Wong (Shanghai Knights, Just Follow Law) star in ... See full synopsis »

Directors: Max Mannix, John Radel
Stars: Hyuk Jang, Fann Wong, Jason Scott Lee
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Can a young girls heart be enough to save the life of her mother?

Director: Yizhi Yang
Stars: Zhang Xiao Hua, Zhao Junmei, Bao-hua Li
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mai and his younger brother Meh falls in love with the same woman but their rivalry has to be put aside after their father becomes sick.

Director: Rashane Limtrakul
Stars: Suttida Kasemsan Na Ayutthaya, Somchai Kemglad, Aroon Pavilai
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

An Asian cop returns to Chicago to revenge his brother's death, only to come up against a psycho threesome on a killing spree.

Director: Peter Allen
Stars: Ho-Sung Pak, Liesl Lombardo, Richard Divizio
Azumi (2003)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Raised to deal in cold blooded death, the teenage assassin girl Azumi must defeat three evil warlords while also battling her own heart.

Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Stars: Aya Ueto, Kenji Kohashi, Hiroki Narimiya
Action | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ichijoji is a street punk who accidentally stumble across Mari and her cat. Mari and Ichijoji immediately falls in love but they are chased by both mafia and corrupted cops.

Director: Hiroyuki Nasu
Stars: Tôru Nakamura, Mina Ichijôji, Izumi Igarashi
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

Moscow, 2070s. In a sealed bunker in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Moscow, young people struggle against each other in a deadly dancing tournament. Only the winners will live.

Director: Andrey Volgin
Stars: Deni Alasaniya, Agniya Ditkovskite, Nikita Dyuvbanov
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Bison, the ruthless leader of the international terrorist organization Shadowlaw, has been desperately searching for the greatest fighter on the planet for years. He finds it in Ryu, a ... See full summary »

Director: Gisaburô Sugii
Stars: Kôjiro Shimizu, Kenji Haga, Miki Fujitani


Credited cast:
Yumiko Shaku Yumiko Shaku ... Mina Saeki / Izuko (new Izuko)
Takao Ohsawa ... Tatsuya Kudo
Shôsuke Tanihara ... Kohei Kanzaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuka Itaya Yuka Itaya
Takehiro Katayama Takehiro Katayama ... Shrine Guard 1
Yumi Kikuchi Yumi Kikuchi ... Shuho Kamiina
Kazuki Kitamura
Kazuhito Ohba Kazuhito Ohba ... Shrine Guard 2
Aya Okamoto Aya Okamoto
Masato Sakai Masato Sakai
Eihi Shiina ... Izuko
Hiromasa Taguchi Hiromasa Taguchi ... Kazuo Kishi
Naho Toda ... Kyoko Aoyama
Maiko Yamada Maiko Yamada ... Maya Ito
Terumi Yoshida Terumi Yoshida


A homicide detective hunts a killer who is literally taking girls hearts. When his own fiancée falls victim to the killer, the detective discovers the otherworldly intentions of the killer and is helped from beyond the grave by his fiancée. Written by Daniel Jos. Leary

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 December 2003 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Даль небесная See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mina: Go, then.
See more »


Referenced in Capitalism: The Movie (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Best Romance/Action Film On the Face of the Planet
13 May 2007 | by ebossertSee all my reviews

Orthodox opinion holds that most (if not all) great movies are restricted to the Drama or Romance genres. During my exploration of East Asian cinema, I have discovered a massive amount of contradictory evidence to this commonly-held assertion: A Tale of Two Sisters (2003, Korean Horror) and Cure (1997, Japanese Thriller) being the two most obvious examples, in addition to The Legend of Drunken Master (1994, Chinese Action), Battle Royale (2000, Japanese Action), and Fist of Legend (1994, Chinese Action). This brief list is a testimony that cinematic greatness is achieved in different ways, whether it be strong dramatic elements, horrific philosophical expositions, masterful storytelling, or action choreography. The bottom line is the one thing they all have in common: REMARKABLE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. Sky High represents another title that achieves greatness like the aforementioned films achieve greatness, albeit in its own unique way.

Ryuhei Kitamura has had his disappointing films (Alive, Godzilla: Final Wars), but when he is "on his game" there is perhaps no one who delivers such a perfect combination of stylish camera-work and engaging sound. Sky High is the crème de la crème of cinematic flair. The wedding ceremony is a classic showcase that every film student should study with earnestness. Even the simplest of events – i.e., a girl crawling to her work desk after arriving late – are handled with such directorial precision that an astute viewer is immediately grabbed by the events occurring on screen. Virtually every action scene is preceded by ultra-cool character mannerisms supplemented with an excellent score. Sky High is a cornucopia of amazing images and sounds that puts most every other film to shame. This one is special for that contribution alone.

The storyline is based upon a set of supernatural rules. Major decisions by the characters must first consider the consequences inherent in their respective afterlives. Killing is not simply an act to end life, but instead is used to serve a specific eternal purpose. Thus, the ones who kill in this film also bear a tragic spiritual fate that others do not possess. The originality of Sky High is obvious in that it represents the act of killing as a form of self-sacrifice for the betterment of someone else. I can't think of another film that does this. It's a very unique and breathtaking play on an old concept.

Many movies have tried to bridge action and romance genres, but few have succeeded. Frequently, the action is bland and emotionless while the romance is undeveloped, but perhaps the most common (and ridiculous) flaw is that character action almost always contradicts the alleged romance of the lead characters. In Shinobi (2005) the wife promptly (and without hesitation) orders an ambush on her husband, which provides an excuse to start fighting, but at the same time nullifies any possible love that the viewer was supposed to believe existed. In The Bride With White Hair (1993) the man totally discounts the word of his alleged lover regarding a murder, which provides an excuse to start the final action scene, but at the same time invalidates their entire relationship. In other words, blending action and romance is just as difficult as creating an effective drama, and most attempts miss the mark quite badly.

Sky High, on the other hand, is the perfect example of internally consistent character action that maximizes the believability of the primary love relationship. Character action is not introduced merely to start fights, but instead represents a logical decision with reference to a specific lover. The primary love relationship is developed throughout the entirety of the film and culminates in the main character's change of philosophy, of which his love for his deceased wife serves as the primary catalyst. In like manner, the primary antagonist's motivations for evil is manfested from his deep love of his comatose wife. Even the deadly assassin shows her caring for the lead antagonist in her choosing to kill for him, thus sacrificing her immortal soul for his dream of being reunited with his lost love. So here we have a film that succeeds in introducing 3 separate love relationships that are consistent with character action, while most other action/romance movies fail to produce 1. Amazing!

Some have complained about the basic fight choreography. It is not kinetic, fast, or complex like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000). Kitamura chose to ground most of the action with realistic sword maneuvers, similar to The Hidden Blade (2004), while adding a few supernatural elements along the way. Remarkably, the action is still very entertaining because of the character development behind it. The finale is exciting not because of how the swords are swung, but because a fairly normal girl has been entrusted to withstand the attacks of the lead antagonist while a demon is on the verge of escape and her husband may (or may not) be able to assist her in time. The preceding fight inside the temple is also engaging because the deadly assassin (who has easily carved her way thru just about everyone) has finally met her match. In this sense, Sky High is a different sort of action film that relies on situational excitement over choreographical complexity, and it works very well.

I'm sure that I'll be criticized for giving an action/romance like Sky High a rating of 10 out of 10, but in all honestly – I don't care. Sky High is simply the best action/romance film on the face of the planet. I dare someone to cite another similar film with an equal mastery of visual/audio technical skills, an equally original take on killing, similarly effective situational fighting, and character action that is perfectly consistent with the romantic elements.

Good luck to you on that challenge.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed