Action/Horror, 91 Minutes, 2009
This should have been my kind of movie. A hot Japanese, 400-year old, half-demon school-girl hunting evil demons with a sword in the age of disco – how could it go wrong? Apparently in a quite a few ways, although I did enjoy it overall.
To its credit the actual swordplay is well done in that wonderful over-the-top Japanese style befitting the anime roots of the story. Our heroine, Saya, is lithe, brutal and remorseless. Her one-on-one battles early on are wildly entertaining and dripping with style. The problem is there’s just no that many of them.
The movie quickly bogs itself down with a convoluted plot. While that really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anime fans it feels somehow out-of-place in a live-action feature. The movie wandered distractedly between decent practical effects and so-so CGI. Although it was (I believe) intentionally hammy I did love Liam Cunningham’s [IMDB] hardboiled America G-man act.
Although it basically collapsed under it’s own weight about halfway through I did still like this but I felt at times that I had to force myself to. All told this was a fun, if flawed diversion and you’d probably be much happier overall with the original anime from 2000.