The Princess Blade (2002)



Critic Consensus: The action is fast and tightly choreographed, but The Princess Blade never draws its disparate elements into a compelling movie.

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Movie Info

Based on a manga series, this science fiction-adventure is set in a near future in which Japan is governed by a monarchy who use a highly trained band of samurai-style assassins known as the House of Takemikazuchi to suppress a fierce band of rebels. Yuki (Yumiko Shaku), a lethal young female member of the group, discovers that her mother was betrayed and murdered by the their leader, and swears vengeance. After being wounded in battle, she takes refuge in a remote gas station run by Takashi (Hideaki Ito), a young man who is actually a member of the underground rebel army. Despite their mutual mistrust, he nurses her back to health and they form a bond as she seeks to continue her mission of vengeance and he tries to convince her otherwise.
R (for strong violence)
Action & Adventure , Anime & Manga , Art House & International , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Yumiko Shaku
as Princess Yuki
Hideaki Ito
as Takashi
Shiro Sano
as Kidokoro
Kyusaka Shimada
as Byakurai
Kyusaku Shimada
as Byakurai
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Princess Blade

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11)

Delicately rendered, if full of pretty banal sentiments, the film's softer central section is a necessary counterweight to the other two acts, which are largely shot in an oppressive blue filter.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

[Yumiko Shaku] doesn't project the confidence or menace that the role requires. Trying to pass her off as a stone-cold assassin is like casting Britney Spears as Marie Curie -- it just doesn't jibe.

Full Review… | September 20, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Its corny streak brings the movie too close to cut-rate Chinese Opera epics than should be allowed.

Full Review… | August 22, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Great movie, mediocre script.

August 22, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

The cast, in its quiet, iconic way, is superb.

August 22, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

The Princess Blade would have been better off forgetting the love story and concentrating on the kick-ass action.

August 8, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Princess Blade

A cliched revenge story but enjoyable none the less. Pretty decent fight scenes and a good soundrack to boot. Enjoyable enough but not one I would strongly recommend. If you need to watch Japanese girls swinging swords watch 'Azumi' instead of this, after that watch 'Azumi 2' and if you're still not satisfied 'The Princess Blade' may help.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

Japanese slash-'em-up based on comic book material. Disappointingly lacking in action during the middle parts where it gets a little slow, but when the action gets going it's pretty cool and stylishly choreographed, all masterminded by action star Donnie Yen. Would have been nice to have a little more fight sequences and blood spurting to go with it too. Overall nothing memorable here unfortunately, but it's not a bad film.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

The heiress to the leadership of a clan of wandering assassins finds out that they were responsible for the death of her mother and cliches ensue. Based on a comic book, The Princess Blade is yet another in a long line of modern day samurai movies involving a bunch of MTV style sword waving, slow motion high kicks and pirouetting stuntmen, punctuated by deathly dull melodrama as two hard asses "learn to love". The fight scenes are adequately handled and the pretty cast nice to look at, but the hackneyed plot consisting of a constant trickle of dreary dialogue spouted by one dimensional characters means it's extremely difficult to give a crap what happens to any of them. Safe to say that the girl gets her revenge, the villain gets a good stabbing in the end and I wish I'd spent the previous hour and a half watching Azumi instead. Yawn.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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