Lady Snowblood 2 - Love Song of Vengeance (Shura-yuki-hime: Urami Renga) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lady Snowblood 2 - Love Song of Vengeance (Shura-yuki-hime: Urami Renga) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 8, 2008
Made one year after the first "Lady Snowblood" film, this sequel features the return of actress Meiko Kaji and director Toshiya Fujita, making it no surprise that it is very much of the same spirit as its predecessor. "Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance" chronicles the continuing adventures of its famed heroine in predictable but reliable pulp serial fashion: by bringing back many of the original‚(TM)s winning elements and presenting them through a new yet familiar storyline. The film catches up to Kaji‚(TM)s Yuki a few years after her initial quest for revenge ended. In keeping with the first film‚(TM)s historical situation, Yuki is still an embodiment of a more traditional time who finds herself even more at odds with the new, Meiji-era Japan of capitalism and modernity (and in this film, the fresh victor of the Russo-Japanese war) than ever before. She is captured by the police and sentenced to death for her crimes before being rescued by Kikui, a devious government agent who sends her to obtain an important document from an anarchist leader named Ransui. However, the anarchist threat turns out to be a fabrication constructed by the government to justify their unjust, oppressive rule, leading Yuki to switch sides and confront Kikui.

As the above synopsis illustrates, the central subject of the plot is not revenge, as one would originally expect, but politics. "Love Song" maintains the high level of attention to history seen in the first film, taking advantage of the rich story material provided by the period to create a well written, well thought-out Lady Snowblood tale. Yet amid the admirably built plotline, the film remains true to its exploitation roots and gives plenty of what the audience came for. Gore is offered up through plenty of creative methods and topped off with gallons of red paint that does not look too much like real blood but turns up bright and vibrant onscreen ‚" which was most likely the filmmakers‚(TM) main objective anyways.

Smoothly reprising her classic role, Meiko Kaji is easily one of the film‚(TM)s key delights. She is constantly fascinating to watch, whether she is calmly disposing of several enemies at once (viewers are treated to not one, but two "Oldboy"-esque sequences in which Yuki hacks through a small army in a single shot) or regarding her prey with her unforgettable fierce glare. The performance she gives isn‚(TM)t of the virtuoso, Oscar-snatching variety, but instead of the kind that happens when a part fits an actor like a glove. There is no denying that she is to Yuki as Toshir√ī Mifune is to his own badass warrior Sanjuro. She owns her character so completely and thoroughly that it would be simply impossible to imagine anyone else in the same part.

The best phrase to compare "Love Song" with the first "Lady Snowblood" would probably be ‚more of the same.‚? For those who cannot get enough of Kaji‚(TM)s iconic character or her stealthy, swordplay-laden, artery-severing adventures, this is right up your alley and will certainly deliver the goods. But for those looking for a radically different approach or style to these blood-spattered antics, I would not set my expectations too high if I were you. Often, as in this case, it‚(TM)s best to enjoy a good thing simply for what it is.
Keiko A. --Samurai--
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2011
Kill Bill was no doubt based on the first, But i stort of liked this more (And oh yes don't forget Sex and Fury another pink film made here).

Though i stort of liked this one's narration more and the rate the story went.

Still everything is perfect and a big thumbs up for the soundtrack!
DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2011
An ambitious plot that doesn't go very far. Kaji barely has something to do, or say, aside from dispatching the bad guys when the time demands it. The socio-political commentary is interesting at first, but everything boils down to the usual "kill the bad guys and everything will get fixed" angle. Not bad, but there's no rush to see this one.
Beefy
Super Reviewer
February 2, 2008
More plot-heavy but somehow less compelling than its predecessor, Love Song of Vengeance utilizes a short running time to help deflect criticism. Fans of the original shouldn't be disappointed.
garyX
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2007
Lady Snowblood is arrested and sentenced to death, but broken out of jail by a corrupt secret policeman who wishes to employ her talents to recover an incriminating document. Why this film is called "Love Song Of Vengeance" I have absolutely no idea because the plot is basically a half-hearted slice of political intrigue which in no way can replace the original concept of a lifelong blood vendetta against rapists and murderers. The idea is all a little vague and unconvincing, and the supporting characters are allotted far too much screen time, taking focus away from Meiko Kaji herself who is obviously by far the most interesting character. It still looks nice, but it lacks the action and inspiration of the original film (although Quentin still found enough "inspiration" to steal the idea of blinding an eye-patch wearing foe!) Not a bad sequel, but it feels rather diluted compared to the first installment.
cancercapricorn2002
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2008
Shurayuki-Hime Yuki (Lady Snowblood), Samurai blood flows through her assassin veins. Love Song of Vengeance picks up where the first Lady Snowblood left off. Yuki is now wanted by the police after taking revenge on those who had murdered her family. Armed with a Tanto short-sword, Yuki cuts through a group of thugs who try to attack her. When the police surround her she throws her sword away and surrenders. While in prison she is offered a deal by the secret police. She must infiltrate the home of Urami Renga an anarchist revolutionary leader as she poses as his maid. She must secure an incriminating document from his possession and kill him to receive a pardon. Yuki refuses to kill him when she becomes sympathetic to his cause. The police surround them and capture Urami as she escapes with the document which she is to now give to Urami?s brother who is working as a doctor in one of Japan?s largest slums. In a final blackmail attempt Yuki takes the document to the police in exchange if the will help the people who live in the slums with food and medical aide. Only the police have other ideas that lead to a final bloody face off.

Love Song of Vengeance is different than its predecessor as its focus is more on politics then revenge. This film contains the requisite amount of spurting blood, severed limbs, and eye-gouging are present only the violence in Love Song of Vengeance is more realistic then the comic book style violence in Lady Snowblood. To bad this series was cut short it would have been interesting to see how the character Lady Snowblood would have evolved film to film. As a sequel Love Song of Vengeance is a good enough film to stand on its own. Meiko Kaji returns as Lady Snowblood and she is as powerful as she was in the fist film. Love Song of Vengeance is the conclusion to the Lady Snowblood saga that takes place in the Meiji restoration, a period in the history of Japan that in many ways helped usher in ?modern? Japan. The end of Meiji restoration also brought the end of old Samurai class system.

A good sequel. Well worth checking out
deano
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2007
Fine bloody sequel of Lady Snowblood with a good chop-socky film, but the original is the whole one.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2007
There's no doubt that this film is decent as all hell, but it wasn't exactly what one would hope for in a follow-up to the first.
The initial premise for the film being "So you've spent your entire life building up to the moment where you kill the ultimate person who wronged you, and succeed...now what?" is a story that is extremely interesting and not one tackled often, or maybe ever.
Unfortunetly when she does find something to do and the plot twists away, she almost becomes secondary to the 3 main male characters, almost as if she it just there to guide the viewer through. But she comes into full force at the end.
What's also interesting is that they place a historical context on the film, which leads to a political story, which ends up being more drama and thriller than action.
It's not that the film itself could have been better, it's just that they maybe shouldn't have made it a Lady Snowblood film, being at one would hope for an all-out slice fest for a sequel and not a agreeably well made historical drama, which flares of action, and some visual reminders, in theme and style, of the last film.
½ January 27, 2016
Lady Snowblood (Meiko Kaji) is on the run from the law because of all those murders she committed in the previous film. The head of Japan's secret police uses such a vulnerable position to coerce Lady Snowblood into spying on an anarchist ringleader; it doesn't take a genius to guess that this leads to more sword-fighting, screaming, and gore. Toshiya Fujita returns to the director's chair and he brings the taut pace, stylized violence, and interesting visual flourishes that he adorned the first film with. Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance isn't quite as successful as its predecessor, but it's still a cut above the typical martial arts movie and fans of the genre will be happy that they tracked it down.
½ May 8, 2013
Many people don't seem to like this sequel because it is more talkative than its predecessor, since it is more grounded in storytelling than it is in bloody swordplay. In all honesty, I like this sequel more than its predecessor because I liked the story a lot more and I enjoyed its political slant on the time period. I found it to be a very engaging film regarding dirty politics. Still, this is a Lady Snowblood flick, so that's not to say that there isn't some bloody sword violence thrown into the mix. I had a blast with this sequel and I think it is quite underrated.
August 14, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

Not quite as good as the first Lady Snowblood, but this was still a fun and violently entertaining film.
November 28, 2008
Excellent sequel to the first Lady Snowblood: both films are quite obviously templates for Tarantino's Kill Bill. Nonetheless, if you can clear your mind of the Tarantino rehash, this is (as well its predecessor) a great martial arts film that should be seen by fans of the genre. Highly recommended.
June 22, 2008
Arguably better than the first in every way, this is a classic revenge story with political subtext so it pleased me more than the first
August 6, 2007
Not as good as the first, but still good in its own ways. It is another slice that went into the creation of the Kill Bill Series.
½ July 22, 2007
The ambiguous ending of Lady Snowblood is destroyed in favor of more of the same; many stabbings and blood splattering snow to be found here, little else. Disappointing.
½ June 25, 2007
[color=#ff6600][font=Arial][b][color=black][b]I thought this was a great movie and it surprises me how much time some people spend making the inevitable comparisons to the Kill Bill movies and putting this movie on the short end of the stick. I don?t mean to take anything away from the great Kill Bill movies, but this is the movie that should be seen and judged and not the knock-off. Without this movie, Kill Bill never would have been made.[/b][/color][/b][/font][/color]

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[color=#ff6600][font=Arial][b][color=black][b]Born in prison, Yuki, a child of the netherworld, is born for one purpose which is to exact revenge against the three people who beat her mother and killed her father and brother. The movie is broken down into chapters and the story is told while cutting back and forth between flashbacks of the past and the present and slowly, but surely, we learn Yuki?s story.[/b][/color][/b][/font][/color]

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[color=#ff6600][font=Arial][b][color=black][b]From the plotline to the well choreographed fight scenes to that wonderfully campy blood spray to the theme of the story, they just don?t make enough movies like this, or of this quality, anymore.[/b][/color][/b][/font][/color]

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[color=#ff6600][font=Arial][b][color=black][b]I rate this movie a 9 out of 10. The only thing stopping me from going to 10 is that there wasn?t a lot of kung fu action in the movie and I thought that was a little disappointing. I highly recommend this movie to anyone.[/b][/color][/b][/font][/color]
½ June 3, 2006
Lady Snowblood (1973) - "It could be said that karma can stain the unborn." - Yuki.

It's June of 1873, a turbulent time for Japan. The government has imposed mandatory enlistment and the peasants are on the verge of revolt. Some have chosen to exploit the peasants for the favors of the powerful. A band of these self-interested, amoral thugs kills a young man and repeatedly rapes his wife. Later, while the wife is wrongfully imprisoned, she gives birth to the girl that will be raised by a priest solely to avenge her parent's misfortune.

Yuki is the emo-child who avenges the four members of the band in separate chapters, an inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill. In between the rather good female-hero-based martial arts fights (marred by insane spouts of blood) we are treated to screeching flash-backs that provide Yuki's motive. Plot "bends" are generated by crossing paths with the band's offspring, but the plot always recovers to maintain it's predictable and violent course.

A plus as it is rare to enjoy a good kick-ass female martial artists, but the screeching of the women is worse that finger nails dragging on a chalkboard.
September 23, 2005
[b]Mystery of the Necronomicon[/b] - Hmmm. This tried to be Hentai, and just turned out to be strong anime. Some of the blood was cool, but the story was meh. I couldn't bring myself to care about anybody.

[b]The Longest Yard[/b] - Heh. This was actually pretty darn funny.

[b]Murder Set Pieces[/b] - I can't believe studio heads give these people money. I mean, [i]really[/i].

[b]Lady Snowblood[/b] - Hell yeah. I just wish the action wouldn't have slowed down in the last third, but this is still a very solid flick. Kill Bill should pay it more respect.

[b]Richard Pryor - Here and Now[/b] - *ahem*

*attempts best Pryor immitation*

Now this here, is some funny shit!
½ August 13, 2005
[b]Me and You and Everyone We Know[/b] - One of the better films of 2005 so far, this small yet meaningful film follows strange and different tangents all revolving around shoesalesman Richard Swersey. Through flowing dialogue, a wonderful visual style, and a great soundtrack, [i]Me and You and Everyone We Know[/i] allows us to see into the complacency of our lives and our unwillingness to change it, but with a certain drive, it can be accomplished. A feel-good quirky film that doesn't feel forced, this is definitely a movie for everyone I know.

[b]The Thin Red Line[/b] - This powerful anti-war film was unjustly overshadowed by the more action-based [i]Saving Private Ryan[/i] of the same time and war. However, the differences between the two are huge. [i]The Thin Red Line[/i] makes us feel greatly and deeply for our soldiers caught up in a war and lost in heart. It's as though none can quite comprehend why this great evil called war is so "necessary," for aren't we all humans, are we not all innately good? What causes this evil? A slow and moving film, this should not be missed.

[b]Decasia: The State of Decay[/b] - Quite possibly one of the most amazing films I've ever seen. In the opening twenty minutes or so, I saw little other than some shockingly beautiful yet utterly dry decayed film, and then comes up a storm. The circular motion of what many of the clips had clued me in that this film was so much more than what I had initially thought, so I turned on my brain and continued to watch in a trance-like state. This film ultimately speaks of the circular motion of creation and decay---from creation only comes decay and destruction, and from destruction comes creation---all without uttering a single word. A masterpiece, plain and simple.

[b]Lady Snowblood[/b] - Stylish and cool, I think this movie was a bit too much for me. It's constant use of handheld cameras bothered me and its dull cinematography bored me, but that qualm aside, this is a really fun samurai flick. Bloody and ultra-violent, a Kill Bill fan wouldn't be lost.

[b]28 Days Later[/b] - This film instantelly captivated me. The use of a DV camera makes for a shocking sense of realism and its fast-paced visuals get the viewer's heart apounding. The acting is surprisingly good for a zombie movie (I know, not technically zombies) as it is coming from Cillian Murphy, one of the coolest actors around today. Then comes the soundtrack---the use of Godspeed You Black Emperor is thrilling and gives the film a whole new depth to it. A very entertaining and heart-pounding movie.
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