FANTASTIC FEST: Baby Assassins (2021)

What do hired killers do on their days off? I’ve always wondered that and hey — here’s a film ready to fill in the gaps. Chisato and Mahiro are teenagers who pull of a double life worthy of Donna Wilkes or Betsy Russell, as they’re high school graduates with menial jobs by day and killing machines battling the yakuza by night, which arises when a battle breaks out at the theme maid cafe that they work at and gets worse from there.

Martial artist and stunt person Saori Izawa — whose stunts were amongst the few highlights in Snake Eyes — plays the caustic Mahiro, with the laid-back Chisato played by Akari Takaishi. The team has great odd couple chemistry as well as the ability to move from moments of humor to action setpieces. The action moments take their time to get on screen, but when they do, they are more than worth the time we’ve spent with our lead characters.

Known as Baby Walkure in its native Japan, this is the first — but by no means the last — film that we’ll see exported to our shores by creative force Yûgo Sakamoto.

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