Friday, August 10, 2007

Yo-Yo Girl Cop (Japan 2006)

In Yo-Yo Girl Cop (スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ), K (Aya Matsuura), is a hard-ass teenager living in New York with her mother, who also happens to be the original Yo-Yo Girl Cop. After running away from home, K manages to get arrested by the local police. A Japanese cop by the name of Kazutoshi Kira (Riki Takeuchi), offers her a deal and explains that Asamiya Saki is a fake name handed down to a large line of delinquent teenage girls, all of whom have been recruited by the authorities to return to Japan and help stop a website named "Enola Gay". The website has been teaching high school students how to build bombs and commit suicide. Now, time is the enemy as the website has begun displaying a countdown, and no one seems to know what it's counting down to! When K enters the school, she soon finds out that disorder is the norm, with students getting bullied and abused, and the teachers just don't seem to care. Reika (Rika Ishikawa), is the number one girl in the school and she knows it. K and Reika clash every chance they get, making things worse for K as she struggles to find the source of the website and the mystery behind it's countdown. Between sticking up for the weak, and trying to stop explosions and suicide bombers, will K find those responsible for the "Enola Gay" site and stop them in time?

Yo-Yo Girl Cop (the original Japanese title is "Sukeban Deka: Code Name Asamiya Saki), is based off the hugely successful manga in Japan created by Shinji Wada. The series has spawned an anime series, OVA, as well as multiple films. This rendition of Sukeban Deka is brought to us by Kenta Fukasaku, the director of Battle Royale 2. While not being familiar with the source material, I didn't know what to expect from a yo-yo wielding cop played by a pop-star. The story is simple enough, although it does seem to have a little too much going on resulting in a lot of things being over-looked, such as the kids being bullied, the fights, and the fact that there are bomb-making supplies everywhere. The girls are all attractive and they play their parts well, and I must say that I loved Riki Takeuchi in this film. The action scenes are nicely done, with a few CG scenes thrown in for good measure. However, there is something about the finished product that comes across as rather bland. It's hard to get excited over the film's lead, and it never really reaches the peak of being an all-around good action movie. If you're already of fan of the Sukeban Deka series, than Yo-Yo Girl Cop is definitely for you, but in deciding if it's a film for everyone, I'd have to regretfully say no. (CBKevin)

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