Released simultaneously world-wide from Geneon Entertainment comes the Japanese “girls with guns” film Cool Dimension: Innocent Assassin. Teaming Godzilla: Final Wars director Yoshikazu Ishii and Princess Blade action director Kenji Tanigaki, Cool Dimension brings together three leather-clad female assassins following orders in a live-action Yasuomi-Umetsu-styled (KITE/Mezzo Forte) version of Charlie’s Angels. J-idol-turned-actresses Yoko Mitsuya and Mitsuho Otani along with actress Mika Shigeizumi are on a mission to eliminate a dangerous man before he goes public with his information or a rival assassin group finishes the job first.
Audio: Japanese 5.1 DD
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Mini-Poster Insert
Notes: Review is based on a Screener copy of the final product. The DVD cover features a printed inner cover, the screener’s black case has been replaced with a clear case to show the inner cover artwork.
Shiori (Yoko Mitsuya of Tokyo University Story fame) is one of three female assassins who follows the every word of Kurokawa (Kenichi Endo), the asian “Bosley” in this dark Angels escapade. We begin with Shiori busting into a nightclub. Swiftly taking down the bodyguards, she eliminates her target with his own gun. More guards come rushing in which leads us to a quick escape and introduction to her partners. Mika (Mitsuho Otani from GUN CRAZY: Episode 3) is a wild girl and takes down the guards in pursuit with a mop in tight quarters while Junko (Deep Love star Mika Shigeizumi) is behind the wheel of their getaway car.
Kurokawa, a man with a serious leather fetish, has trained each of the girls from a young age to be obedient to his every whim. It just happens to be that he’s more interested in efficient killing machines who don’t ask questions rather than more perverse thoughts. At least, we hope so. Having the girls lay on him aside, Kurokawa is simply issuing orders to find the next target and thinks of nothing else. While this may work for pets, Shiori’s own personal identity is trying to break free of her red leather restraints. This brings us to the Angels‘ next mission which threatens to be a hard one.
Politician Tsuyama has hired the girls to take down Haruki Muraoka. Muraoka’s information on the politican could spell certain doom for his political career. Kurokawa assigns Shiori to work undercover at the Weekly Hunting gossip news magazine. Once inside, Shiori can befriend Muraoka’s girlfriend, Yumi Hayakawa, and attempt to use her to find the whereabouts of Haruki Muraoka, who has gone into hiding. Donning a respectable business suit and glasses, Shiori enters as fresh news reporter “Shiori Asakura.” The Editor-in-Charge quickly saddles his new “Clark Kent” to the Weekly Hunter’s “Lois Lane,” nice-guy-but-clueless male reporter Kimura. Kimura (Satoshi Matsuda) attempts to protest, but fails miserably at turning down training the cute new reporter.
Shiori and Kimura head out to catch a big celebrity news story. Kimura recieved a call that the well-known Matsuda will be leaving his place at a certain time, which means they have one chance to get a big scoop on the gossip that Mr. Matsuda is seeing a Ms. Mikami. Matsuda makes a run for it while his manager attempts to keep Kimura at bay. Following his lead, Shiori chases after Matsuda and finally jumps him for the news story. Tape recorder in hand, the assassin uses her skilled techniques to break Matsuda. Back at the paper, the Editor is estatic at the green reporter’s catch on her first day. Shiori gracefully says it is thanks to Kimura and then tries to talk with her target, Yumi Hayakawa.
Yumi has been trading emails with Muraoka since his disappearance and is suspicious of the new girl’s sudden interest in being her friend. Having failed the first approach, Shiori waits for the paper to be put to bed for the night and then sneaks back in to hack into Yumi’s computer. Back at the brokendown hideout, Kurokawa presses the girls to try harder in locating their target. The next night, Shiori follows Yumi home only to witness her kidnapping at the hands of a rival female group. They torture Yumi and dump her body without finding out the location of Muraoka. Unable to do anything for Yumi, Shiori hacks her cellphone and retrieves the meeting place and time the two lovebirds had arranged.
At the right place at the right time, Shiori has her target in front of her on an elevator alone. She prepares to choke him with a wire when he confronts her. Muraoka confesses that he knows what she wants to do and he doesn’t care as long as his plan is carried out to bring down the corrupt politician. Confused, Shiori lets him get away. The conflict of killing a man who is seeking justice frees Shiori of her programming and she begins to question the very nature of what she does and who she used to be.
Cool Dimension develops an interesting plot and then fumbles through inane character background and development. We are introduced better to Mika and Junko with a little foreshadowing of the final plot details, but you are probably going to be bored by the time we get there in the 15 minutes or so it takes. The earlier plotline tangents get tossed aside as we see the reaction by the public that a government official may be corrupt. Shiori’s following of Muraoka’s background reawakens her own memories, yet there isn’t a point as each girl was basically taken by Kurokawa as a child. The end action sequences make up for a lot, although not enough to consider this film anything more than decent-at-best. The film also features a decent budget on equal level of something you may expect from a SciFi Channel movie. In terms of a Japanese film, that’s a pretty good amount of invested capital and the digital cinematography will be quite noticable for its polish.
Cool Dimension: Innocent Assassin has some good fight scenes and three sexy actresses. The plot is all right but really needs a KITE/Mezzo fan to appreciate it for what it is. The acting is decent, yet at the same time the girls are playing mindless drones until the last act of the play. The title lists explicit nudity and this is for a scene where the politican’s girl is getting screwed by a man he hired to “warm her up” for him. Outside of this, you only have the three actresses in their leather to enjoy through most of the film. Yoko Mitsuya is beyond cute in her business suit and glasses, too. The video is crisp and clean, which looks great on a widescreen TV. The subtitles, however, have a couple of moments where the wording seems a little off. Nothing major, just a tad odd to read. Otherwise, Cool Dimension is a good pickup if you see it on sale or happen to be a fan of Yoko Mitsuya, Mitsuho Otani, and Mika Shigeizumi. Each girl has film work that could do well in the US once it’s licensed and released.