Yo-Yo Girl CopWho can the police turn to when a website run by an underground terrorist group that calls itself “Enola Gay” pops up bearing a skull and cross bones and a mysterious timer counting down to an unknown event? What about the teenage girl who just got deported back to Japan and who’s mother is facing a trial where she is sure to be found guilty and sent to prison? Yeah, good call. Thus is born Asamiya Saki, the fourth rendition of the infamous Japanese crime fighter known as Yo-Yo Girl Cop. Played by pop star Aya Matsuura, this new cop is a hardcore, battle-ready action hero.

The film is filled with explosions of action… literally and figuratively. As Asamiya Saki races against the clock to discover who the terrorists are and put a stop to their evil plan, she constantly finds herself in situations where the only option is to fight her way out. In contrast, her new friend Taie Kono (delicately played by Yui Okada in her acting debut) is constantly running away and hiding from the many bullies that rule the private academy where Asamiya is working undercover. Reika, the worst of the bullies (played by Rika Ishikawa) is determined to make Asamiya Saki’s undercover position as difficult as possible. As more bombs keep turning up, and the terrorist plot begins to come clear, Asamiya Saki readies herself for an intense showdown with the suspected head of the organization.

Yo-Yo Girl Cop is a fast-paced, beat-em-up, blow-em-up rocket shot of a movie. At times it almost feels like an anime come to life. Unfortunately, the cartoonish dialogue and plot tend to hold the movie back at times when it should be flying. When the film is heading full tilt towards the target, with time running out and action sequences shooting out one after the other, it’s the best sort of good girl vs. bad girl comic book action. Unfortunately, the action comes to a halt a little too often as the back story is slowly revealed through online chat room discussions and text messages that lead into voice-over.

Ultimately, the plot begins to unravel and what seemed so epic at the beginning starts to feel a little more contrived and unimportant. The transition that Asimaya Saki makes from bumbling yo-yo tosser (hitting a wall and then knocking herself out in an early scene) to intense heroine sending her yo-yo flying and wearing what the featurette describes as a “bondage inspired battlesuit” seems too quick and unrealistic. Especially since the entire film takes place over a 72 hour period.

What adds a touch of class to the flm is that Yuki Saito, the original Asimaya Saki from the 1980’s Japanese television series, makes a moving and effective cameo as Asimaya’s mother, the former Asimaya Saki. Over twenty years after Saito immortalized the character on television, and three reincarnations later, she’s back to help usher the super-heroine into the 21st century.

For those who love japanimation and borderline-nonsensical plotlines involving explosions, martial art fight scenes, and of course characters running unscathed through streams of machine-gun fire armed solely with a metal yo-yo, this is the film for you. For anyone else, it might be best to let this one pass by, for although this action feature, directed by Kenta Fukasaku (Battle Royale 2) has all the right intentions, it ends up pulling in a little short of the finish line.

To purchase Yo-Yo Girl Cop, visit Amazon
To watch the trailer, visit Youtube (It’s in Japanese, but you get the idea well enough)

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