Category IIB Not suitable for young persons and children.
Great fight choreography, just don't expect the kinetic action of VERSUS or SKY HIGH.
A shakesperian-styled action/romance flick with some pacing issues.
The Takemikazuchi's are a group of assasins who have been closed off from the modern world for 500 years. Now the assasins kill for a living and one of their greatest warriors is the last remaining clan member with true Takemikazuchi blood, princess Yuki.
Yuki has been sent out alone to hunt down one of their clansmen who has run away and, by the leaders standard, betrayed them.
After catching up to him Yuki quickly disposes of him and is confronted by an old man who claims to have served her mother, Azora, before she died. The old man, Kuka, tells Yuki that her mother was not killed in battle but infact was killed by the leader of the Takemikazuchi's, Byakurai. Also, in a few days, Yuki will turn 20, the age in which one with Takemikazuchi blood will reclaim leadership of the clan.
Yuki goes back and confronts Byakurai about the death of her mother and a fight breaks out between the two. Realising she is not strong enough, Yuki flees into the forest where the clan is in hot persuit.
Yuki gets away and jumps into the back of a truck that was passing by, this truck belongs to a vigilante called Takashi.
Yuki and Takashi inevitably fall for each other and the stone-cold Yuki realises their is more to life than killing.
Takashi is also involved with an anti-government agent who is very dangerous even to those who follow him.
As Takashi tries to quit and Yuki realises that for once she is happy, the final battle between Byakurai and Yuki looms near.
THE PRINCESS BLADE is a movie with many, many mixed reviews.
Mostly those who expect a plain and simple action flick are the ones who walk away dissapointed. It's best to look at this movie as a Shakespearian-styled Action/Romance/Drama flick, because that's the way it unravels, and lets just say the ending seems a bit too similar to one of Shakespears most popular tales.
The main problem with this movie (especially when expecting mostly action) is that the time between fights is painfully slow, i'd say a healty 30min chunk of "who cares" footage is spaced between 2 fights and for a movie that goes for 1hr 30mins, it's a bit too much.
I know what you're thinking "well that must mean we get atleast an hour full of non-stop action right?" wrong! that 30min chunk I mentioned was just the time between 2 certain fights, the other fights (about 3 proper lengthed ones) have a load of other claptrap that spaces them out.
Ok, I know I'm saying this a bit harshly, especially because I'm giving this movie a decent score, but don't worry because that's about the only big problem the film has. Almost everything but the pacing makes this movie well worth a look by those who are interested.
THE PRINCESS BLADE seems to be a bit of an accidental genre mix. On the one hand you have very nice action scenes that are well choreographed, the problem is there just isn't enough of them, and on the other hand you have a nice attempt at romance with a decent attempt at drama. The drama aspect may be a failure depending on who's watching it, those who connect with the characters may be caught off guard, but those who don't will find the drama aspect a little pathetic. The problem I found with the drama element was that the characters (perticularly the main two) are really love or hate. Some may love Yuki's cold-heart to warm-heart transission, while others will not. Some may find Takashi appealing (god knows why) and others won't, simple as that.
The actors are pretty decent all-round, and Yumiko Shaku does a good job with Yuki considering her J-pop origins.
I was impressed with the moves Yumiko was pulling off durin the action scenes, especially since she has such thin arms.
Yumiko Shaku also has a main role in SKY HIGH, as another sword weilding babe, so check it out because her performance in that is much better (I wonder why Yumiko prefers acting as a babe with a sword over being a Pop Idol).
The action scenes are well done and have that "Wow" facter, but they aren't anything groundbreaking and have been done better in other movies. Nothing impressive if you're very familiar with Ryuhei Kitamura's works.
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. The action scenes were nice and the chemistry betweens the leads were interesting.
This movie paints an intriguing picture of what the near-future may be like. A Definant miss for anyone who's seen a RYUHEI KITAMURA action flick, but for those who haven't here's a great place to start.
An aquired taste, but a taste many may have.
Please note that opinions expressed in any review are those of our customers and do not necessarily match those of the Play-Asia.com team.
limpingfish(4) on 19, Sep. 2004 06:47 (HKT)
Good, but only good... Nicely shot, well acted, but overlong and lacking. With Donnie Yen fight choreography, at least the action scenes are nicely executed. There\'s just not enough of them!
backstepprogram(15) on 14, Aug. 2004 21:21 (HKT)
Not Quote Royalty ... Excellent photography and astounding action pieces aren\'t enough to lift THE PRINCESS BLADE to the status of royalty.
Through the confession of an old friend, Yuki learns that she is a royal princess whose bloodline can restore peace to a future world on the brink of chaos. Since her mother\'s death, however, Yuki has come to serve a \'society of assassins,\' so reclaiming her birthright will not only involve personal sacrifice but an awful lot of bloodshed by the individuals her put in her in present predicament.
Fleeing for her life, Yuki is befriended by a young man and his shut-in sister. Together, the three of them discover the meaning of family ... before tragedy once again puts Yuki on a course of self-redemption.
Despite some great performances and a mythic storyline, PRINCESS meanders weakly through most of the dramatic passages where Yuki attempts to recapture her lost humanity. However, once the blades are pulled, the film soars to terrific heights.
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