Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)
What do you get if you take the spirit of Elektra Assassin, the stylised presentation of a cult Chambara film classic and the over the top violence of a Tarrantino movie?
Throw a stunning actress like Aya Ueto into the mix in the title role (it doesn’t hurt that she is the living embodiment of hot ‘Kasumi’ from the Dead or Alive video game series) mix it up with Manga style set pieces and a delicious assortment of baddies…
Have it directed by the guy who made the outlandish zombie/yakuza/criminal/time-travelling mini-epic Versus and basically you get the best samurai action film ever made and its name is Azumi!!
Azumi is pure ass-kicking entertainment and what it loses in-depth, it makes up for with eye candy, gratuitous violence, and a dark sense of humour.
As Mark Pollard over at Kung Fu Cinema says: “The story of Azumi is adapted from a manga title of the same name by Yu Koyama. Its a little hard to swallow, but through the course of the film the diminutive title character as played by pop starlet Aya Ueto will cut her way through no less than 200 warriors made up of samurai, ninja, deranged mercenaries, and mobs of Road Warrior-inspired cutthroats. She reaches a gruesome climax with one of most memorable beheadings seen in film.”