Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Ah yes, Japanese women dressed in school girl uniforms.  A tradition as old and as cherished as the geisha, hara-kiri, and the sexual harassment of American women at Japanese owned U.S. auto plants.  At least the star of ‘Yo-Yo Girl Cop’, Aye Matsuura, is barely a woman since she was about nineteen when this movie was shot and she looks like a legitimate high school girl in her outfit, though the skirt is cut kind of short.  Do they actually make the girls wear skirts that short in Japan?  I mean that must drive pedophiles and R. Kelly insane.  Anyway, ‘Yo-Yo Girl Cop’ looks to promise a wild crazy fun time but with the exception of the final ten minutes, it all added up to be a fairly pedestrian affair.

In the middle of Tokyo a school girl (in a short skirt) stumbles around Shinjuku Avenue with a bomb strapped to her body.  She goes boom.  Not cool.  In New York a crazed teenaged girl named K (Matsuura) is captured after beating up a bunch of cops.  Raised on the streets, K lives hand to mouth with her mother who is now jailed on suspicion of being a spy.  Agent Katzutoshi Kira (Riki Takeuchi) makes K an offer to work for his organization and replace the previous agent that was blown up on Shinjuku a few days before.  It seems there is a bomb making website called the Enola Gay, a name you can imagine may cause some tension in Japan, and it is counting down to some cataclysmic event.  If K accepts the gig they will have her mother freed before she goes to trial which, like the countdown, is in 72 hours.  Reluctant at first, eventually the angry cutie accepts the job and assumes the legendary identity of Saki Asamiya and given her secret weapon of a lethal steel yo-yo.

Hopefully this movie is a parody because if it’s not, I’d rather be inducted back into slavery than go to a Japanese high school.  These kids take bullying to the next level by

pouring buckets of human waste on students, beating them with mop handles, dropping desks from second story windows on them all while the teachers look away in feigned ignorance.  In school Saki makes quick friends with the bullied Jiro (Erika Miyoshi) and quick enemies with the popular Reika (Rika Ishikawa) who also carries a yo-yo.  Here a lot of other stuff happens as the story bogs down with numerous characters being introduced and numerous plot twists throwing this thing into almost total chaos until it all comes together with an inspired boss battle at the end.  Something that this movie really could have used more of.

‘Yo-Yo Girl Cop’ had no rhythm, no beat, no pulse.  It was based on a very popular Manga and I don’t know how closely the narrative of the film follows the Manga but if Director Kenta Fukasaku followed the comic closely and this being the end result, then he did his film a disservice.  Since this is a very visual medium and a very visual concept, the execution of this concept was lacking.  The very thought of placing a school girl armed with a lethal weapon in a situation that almost certainly will end with her death, as it did her predecessor, is lunacy but this movie took great pains to try to make this insanity valid.  In my opinion that is this films fatal flaw, being that if the concept is crazy then the film should have been equally as nuts and not filled with the overwrought dialog, pounds of teen angst and forced sentimentality.  But then you’d see another teenager with a bomb strapped to his or her chest and blow up.  They really should think about shutting down this high school.

The character of Saki Asamiya sure is cute but she’s an awful agent.  She’s worse than Farrah Fawcett asking stupid questions at inopportune times and all of those ass kicking skills she had in the beginning of the film completely evaporated as she was just as easy to take out as any other 85 pound seventeen year old girl.  Only in the films final act does ‘Yo-Yo Girl Cop’ deliver on the trailers promise of over the top, wire harness, yo-yo flinging, tight leather Japanese girl ass kicking action.  It’s a damn good sequence actually and almost makes sitting through the first eighty minutes tolerable.  Almost, but not quite.

I’m going to work on the assumption that this is the first in what will be a spate of sequels in this series, and despite the disappointment I felt in watching this installment, I will be looking forward to the next one because now I hope we’ve gotten all of this worthless ‘character development’ and supposition out of the way and we can finally get down to the business of yo-yo ass kicking and non-stop action.  At least that’s my hope.  We will see.

Real Time Web