BABY ASSASSINS (2021)
If you’re looking for a film about assassins who are babies, sorry to disappoint you. If you’re looking for a movie about people who assassinate babies, again, sorry to disappoint (also, you’re sick!). But if you’re looking for a fun action film about two super charming teenage assassins, featuring some of the best fight sequences of the whole fest, you’re in luck!
Chisato and Mahiro are teenagers living a double life. While attending school, they also work as super skilled assassins for hire. Upon graduation, they’re informed by upper management that they need to hold down normal day jobs to allay suspicions about their true profession. Even worse, they’ll be forced to share an apartment! Like every recent high school graduate, the two face some bumps in the road: fights over who’s making dinner, difficulties holding down boring food service jobs, disagreements about cleaning up the apartment. But after one of them has an unfortunate run-in with a member of the Yakuza at their day job at a maid cafe, all bets are off, and the two have to band together in an epic fight for their lives.
Director Hugo Sakamoto has created a delightfully unique and enjoyable action film. Part buddy comedy, part thriller, Sakamoto balances a variety of tones with skill. The quirky humor that arises during the course of the girls’ daily lives juxtaposes well with the intense fight scenes, featuring imaginative choreography and plenty of violence. Saori Izawa, an accomplished martial artist and stunt person, proves herself to be a natural actor as well, shining as the sarcastic, antisocial Mahiro. She has an easy, authentic chemistry with her co-star Akari Takaishi, who plays the more sensible, easy-going Chisato. The film has a lot of fun with this classic odd couple scenario, and offbeat humor and absurd situations abound. BABY ASSASSINS is truly a gem, an accomplished, fresh take on the action genre, with something for everyone. (LISA DREYER)