Akari Takaishi, Ayaori Izawa, Oto Abe, Tatsuomi Hamada, Junpei Hashino
Well Go USA
They’re back! Those gun-toting gamines, Mahiro and Chisato, the terrible teenage twosome of Tokyo’s murderous underworld! And once again, Mahiro and Chisato find themselves obligated to seek employment that’s a lot less exciting than their usual contract killings. Unpaid fees for a gym they signed up for and only used once have snowballed, and getting out of that jam drops them right in the middle of a bank robbery. Foiling the heist only gets them in trouble with the tediously bureaucratic assassination agency they work for. Suspended indefinitely, they’ll have to cover the cost of their sukiyaki and ice-cream sundaes with a mundane gig as shopping-arcade mascots. Meanwhile, psychopathic goofball brothers Makoto and Yuri are smalltime hitmen with big ambitions. To become Tokyo’s top killers for hire, they’ll have to take out the two young ladies currently occupying that slot. Have mopey Mahiro and chipper Chisato finally met their match?
Writer/director Yugo Sakamoto returns to his “comic-action” concoction, and you can forget about the law of diminishing returns. Everything that worked so well in 2021’s BABY ASSASSINS is back, and better executed, in round two. The endearing and uproarious back-and-forth between Chisato and Mahiro, played by anime stage-musical star Akari Takaishi and in-demand stuntwoman Ayaori Izawa respectively, is even fresher and funnier this time, and nicely mirrored by the clowning of Makoto (Tatsuomi Hamada) and Yuri (Joey Iwanaga). When the combat kicks in, it kicks in hard and fast, thanks once again to non-nonsense action director Kensuke Sonomura. The first film was such a memorable standout of last year’s edition of Fantasia, a second serving is unmissable, so come and get it! – Rupert Bottenberg