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Azumi 2: Death or Love Reviews

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Phil H

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2012
Following on from the first film we see our female assassin hunted down by hired ninjas for her handy work. She is on her way to complete the mission set out in the first film and assassinate 'Sanada' (her finale target), along the way she meets up with a group of bandits who assist her but this also allows spies into the equation. This is the basis for the plot very simply laid out.

I must say I got the feeling this film may have been one big long film that was cut into two on purpose, the whole thing filmed in one go. The continuity is very good with both plot and certain actors returning and you do get a fairly epic feeling in the scope of things. Aya Ueto in the lead is still cute as hell while Tak Sakaguchi seems to be in every modern Japanese flick with any hint of action.

To be honest the film isn't entirely different from the first in the terms of what happens. Its more sword slashing, blood spurting and many similar yet nicely created characters, it also visually appears identical to the first hence why I think it was all made at the same time. Not exactly worthy of an epic award but certainly well made with some grand action sequences to please the eye.

Like all Japanese Samurai/ninja films it has a lovely period feel to the proceedings with small segments of fantasy or myth. These do add to the charm of the film but also take away from it. The story is based on a manga comic but there are so many of these adaptations from Japan you do get a strong sense of deja vu half the time.

The main plus points in this film (like many other films from the land of the rising sun) are the characters. Big, bold, colourful, exciting, athletic and overflowing with emotions whilst the flash of their Katana's glint in the sun at you. The plot is pretty much the same old search for revenge, truth or justice motif with nothing really new to offer in terms of action but it does the job well.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

November 18, 2010
Azumi 2: Death or Love is a serviceable sequel to the movie that preceded it, but it's not quite as interesting the second time around. Where the first movie dealt with the cyclical carnage of war and the sacrifices people make for questionable higher goals, Azumi 2 is more of a straight-forward action movie that continues those themes as earnestly, but less effectively.

After the events of the first movie, the young assassin Azumi continues her mission to find and kill the last remaining warlord that seems determined to plunge feudal Japan back into war. She's accompanied by her last remaining companion, still haunted by the deaths of her friends, and sought by a vengeful warrior who wants her death above all things. Of course, she also finds new allies and hidden enemies on her journey.

This movie mirrors the plot of the first in many ways, but it's just not quite as good. The battles aren't as fun, and the story isn't as captivating. The attempts at poignancy and don't ring as true as the first movie, either.

Aya Ueto is still an irresistible heroine and I recommend to anyone who enjoyed the first movie that they should check this one out, too. Just keep in mind that the change in directors from the first movie was not exactly an improvement.
skactopus
skactopus

Super Reviewer

March 27, 2007
Shusuke Kaneko's follow up to Kitamura's Azumi is an action adventure that falls flat.The story between this and the first installment is continuous, and so are a number of the characters; however, it is easy enough to follow and catch up on to make this watchable without having seen the first.The 108 minutes aren't interesting enough to fully impress. The main characters need no build up at this point and most of the new supporting characters aren't amusing. There is a lack of quirkiness to them. As for the story, it is rather uneventful.There is an ample amount of action and while the choreography is good, the fights aren't intense. Not even the special skills of the Ueno clan ninja warriors are enough to fire up the confrontations.The star of the show, Aya Ueto, passes as a female assassin and Chiaki Kuriyama and Reiko Takashima also amuse as female ninjas. There are also a number of cast members that return from the first film, but as totally different characters.Azumi 2: Death or Love lacks style and feeling, but it is watchable.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2008
I'm a huge fan of the first one and as much as I hate agreeing with some of the comments, well I do. This isn't even close to the first, simply because kitamura's touch was missing badly. The unique sense of camera angles, sword fights, wire work etc... There's still plenty of violence and blood but not quite as impressive and breathtaking as the first. I hoped for kitamura's direction as it really would have been more intense than the first but not everything goes our way. Still the acting was good and the scene with a copy of the ninja scroll sword boomerang was pretty cool I must say.

Nevertheless I still love this simply because I love the franchise of this type of samurai flick and once again the cute Aya Ueto's presence once more. Recommended to all action and samurai fans out there.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2007
Why does it always seem to be the same with sequels? Film companies just insist on remaking the first film, and do it worse (you'd think they'd learn SOMETHING from their mistakes...) Of course there is always an exception to every rule, but unfortunately, this ain't it. Azumi 2 begins were the original left off, as Azumi and Nagara continue their quest to rid Japan of warlords. This time they are joined by Chiaki Kuriyama (AKA Gogo from Kill Bill) who is a welcome addition to the cast, and there's plenty more flying limbs and spurting blood. Plus of course, Aya Ueto is still hotter than a McDonalds fruit pie filling. Unfortunately the plot is minimal and there just isn't enough action; and what there is seriously misses Ryuhei Kitamura's stylish visuals and epic scale. The villains are also nowhere NEAR as much fun. It passes an hour and a half relatively inoffensively, but it's a pale shadow of the first installment.
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2007
You go girl, GIRL POWER!!!
Beefy
Beefy

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2006
Slightly less fun than the first one, as it brings nothing new to the table. Still, what is there is fun.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2006
Good sequel but the original is the best.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

March 4, 2008
Missing the heart of the first film, but still a good action film.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2008
Considering how great the first was it's a shame the makers decided to do nothing more than a "sequel" to follow. Thereby it's entertaining and follows on neatly but she spends too much time reminiscing and the swordfights have lost their potency now. However, I'm adding on an extra half star for a brilliant fight involving razor-wire.
BigMoneyBruce
February 7, 2010
Not as good as the 1st one but still decent. It lacked the blood sprays, digital editing of the 1st and the fights were not just under par of the original.. Also the vivid color schemes were a plus as in the 1st one.
January 7, 2009
The camerawork is bit more restrained than in Kitamura's original, but pretty consistent in tone. I watched a French dub, which was less distracting than you'd think.
crystalmalki
May 15, 2008
7/10 Well we have some good news and some bad news on this one. Good news first. They fixed my major complaint with the first movie. They cut the "Doom and Gloom" with some sillyness. They even did it with out going TOO far over the top. The female ninja's breast plate for example. Another example was the enemy army 's "mini-bosses" (really liked them). Hell, they even BLATANTLY riped off a character from "Ninja scroll"...but it fit real well. Now the bad news. The rest of the movie suffered a bit for it. Not that the rest of the movie sucked, just not quite as top notch. The sets were nice, but not as grand scale. Plot? Well they figured you kinda got it all in the first movie, so why bother explaining it again. "SHE HAS TO KILL THE GENERAL"....enough said. They lessened the doom and gloom , but threw in a liberal dose of angst instead. With a "whole new" shiny flashback system to beat it into your head. Ill admit though my only real gripe with the film is really at the end, were our hero just kinda went brain dead all of a sudden. In the first film they had a huge fight scene. It was the climax of the film and they did it well. In this one she suffers one death too many and decides to put a end to it once and for all. In the first film she had help, tactics, and I dont know...a plan? In this one she just walks up to the army base (in plain site in full view) and starts hacking away. I know it was , It was a enemy tech she got hit by in the last scene. Thats why her brain cells slid out her ears and made her do the "WTF are you doing ?" fight. Ya thats it, it all makes sense now. Might even explaine the rest of the movie too.
joyouskiss
June 29, 2007
I loved the first movie, this sequel is equally as good but pitiful. Azumi still lives and kicks ass, but has to lose more of her friends to death which is pretty unfair. But thus is the story of an assassin, you're bound to lose those you love in the mission and end up alone. The scenery is still gorgeous. You feel for Azumi and her remaining two companions in this back stabbing film.
August 28, 2007
if you like alot of blood, action, evil plots, good vs. evil, then this movie is for you! It's assasin time! Japanese style!
May 9, 2007
This action-packed sequel is just as a slick, violent, and pretty much as awesome as the first film.
LadyMinion
January 17, 2007
awesome movie shame their both in japanese but i think if it was in english it would be boring but other wise it was awseome and also had some great steel!!
September 23, 2006
Not as good as the original, but still really good. The budget is slimmer, and with most of the character gone, it's hard to invest in new ones.
May 16, 2013
naaaah.. it feels like a sequel. I cant feel the tension anymore but the coolness is still there.
January 2, 2011
Probably the best 2 part film subtitled in English ever. Full of action, brilliant story suberb special effects Azumi makes superman and the other heroes appear mediocre. No wonder she is a super idol in her country. A film you can watch many times and still love it.
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