The "High Kick Girl" can kick ass any day of the week (twice on Sunday), so I'll be easy on this review.
Director Fuyuhiko Nishi high kicks to near fame with a well disciplined film starring Rina Takeda - first film - leading the way along side Tatsuya Naka (Blackbelt) in this non-stop showcase displaying what a Karate fight would be like in the real world.
Synopsis: Kei Tsuchiya (Takeda) is a brown belt hunting down Black belts for a challenge and seeking more against a faction known as "The Destroyers" to showcase her strength and make her sensei Yoshiaki Matsumura (Tatsuya) proud. She excels arrogantly putting her friend, teacher and even herself in a difficult situation that turns into an unexpected Karate clash.
Such a good film; unfortunately an unfinished one with only an 85 minute run that should've been given more time. The intro before the "Hai Kikku Garu" title appears should have emphasized Rina Takeda's character, but it doesn't hurt the commencement as the movie soars to a naturally good buildup leading to each and every fight scene. However, the story always seems incomplete after each sequence jumping hastily from one plot to the next you find yourself being thrown off from time to time.
The fight scenes are nothing what you would normally see in a Martial Arts movie where in this one you get to observe fight progressions that would normally happen in a real situation at the same time keeping the movie feel flowing not having to make it overly bona fide. Rina Takeda's Karate is the real deal, nothing phony about her moves; she does it well in every shot. The impervious opponent she fights up against steals the whole show; best fight scene if you like realism. This is what would normally happen if two Karate combatants face each other in the street. Reasonably shot with perfect practicality.
Many will complain with the fact that there are a lot of slow motions and replays which I did find a bit irritating; for whatever reason they did this could be due to the short amount of directing time they had, low budget etc. who knows, but sometimes the replays and slow mo's are acceptable and at other times just slows down the flow of the stare. The acting is just fine, and considering this was Rina Takeda's first film, her acting was doable, but her fighting? Well she's a Karate champion so your guess is as good as mine.