The Princess Blade is a story set in the post apocalyptic world of
Japan that revolves around a young assassin girl called Yuki (Yumiko
Shaku) whose life is suddenly thrown into turmoil on her 20th birthday.
In this unspecified future, the world was laid waste by nuclear war but
somehow mankind has rebuilt itself. Yuki was raised by the Takemikazuchi when her
mother was murdered when she was just five years old and her only family
since then has been this group of cutthroats and murderers.
The Takemikazuchi were once a powerful organisation of assassins that were the
King's personal problem solvers but are now nothing more than common thugs
and hit men for hire. While on a mission, Yuki unexpectedly learns that her
mother was murdered by Byakurai (Kyusaka Shimada), the leader of the Takemiazuchi and vows vengeance against the man who stole her mother.
Failing to extract vengeance on Byakurai, a bloodied and battered Yuki flees
and accidentally stumbles upon Takashi (Hideaki Ito), an unwilling post
apocalyptic terrorist who wishes to change the government of his country.
Without spoiling too much of the movie, this is when Yuki starts her journey
of self-discovery and freedom from her dangerous past.
Director Shinsuke Sato does a wonderful job at helping the viewer relate to
the main characters of this movie and also uses his cinematographic genius
perfectly by using the colours, lighting and locales of Japan perfectly that
ties in brilliantly to this futuristic world. The story itself contains quite
a bit of action that not only pays homage to Hong Kong action movies but
also to the Samurai movies of old and as Kill Bill Volume I has shown, nothing
is more sexier than a girl wielding Samurai blades.
Donnie Yen also
lends his talents to the choreography of the action scenes that really make
you appreciate the huge sword battles between good versus evil. Although the
story does get a little slow during the middle of the feature and some
plotlines are never fully resolved, the action really heats up during the
end of the movie that once again shows that Japan doesn't follow Hollywood
in its ideologies or the way they create their movies.
video quality of Princes Blade is phenomenal and is featured in a 16:9
aspect ratio for that true widescreen experience. Match that with the
beautiful cinematography of director Shinsuke Sato and you have the perfect
Japanese action movie. There is even some CGI in this movie, although
nothing too impressive, it does help get the director's view of this post
apocalyptic feel of Japan.
audio quality of the DVD features Dolby Digital 2.0 and although it
doesn't use any higher formats, it still sounds good and sometimes made me
feel like I was watching a Dolby Digital 5.1 movie. Another impressive
feature of this movie is that there is no bad dubbing in this movie as the
movie keeps its original Japanese content with only English subtitles.
Princess Blade DVD contains three extras that include an in-depth commentary
by Donnie Yen regarding the various fight scenes in the movie, the original
theatrical trailer and some Eastern Eye trailers.
The Princess Blade DVD was a strange movie that on many levels I thoroughly
enjoyed. The cinematography, fight scenes and storyline was quite simply
amazing but unfortunately a few of the plots in the story seemed to have
gone the way of the dodo but if you are looking for something a little more
heavy than your average Hollywood diet, than this movie may be for you.
- Andrew B