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Baby Assassins 2 - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Beibi warukyure 2 beibi

Japan 2023

Comedy, Action

Yugo Sakamoto

Akari Takaishi
Saori Izawa
Joey Iwanaga
Tatsuomi Hamada
Atomu Mizuishi
Tomo Nakai
Tsubasa Tobinaga

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Baby Assassins 2

Baby Assassins 2 - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Chisato (Akari Takaishi) and Mahiro (Saori Izawa) live without a thought for tomorrow and don't worry about much. They may be outstanding professional killers, but they don't take it too seriously when it comes to the bills they have to pay. So it happens that they not only have to pay a good amount of money because of running costs and overdue fines, but their fee to the assassin's guild is also due. They almost miss the payment deadline, but they make it to the bank in time in order to transfer the money. Unfortunately, that's exactly when the bank gets robbed. The two girls decide to eliminate the bank robbers so that they would be able to make their transfer in time. However, things don't work out that way - the two saved the day, but they didn't manage to make their transfer and they are temporarily terminated by the guild. To make matters worse, the two amateur killers Makoto (Tatsuomi Hamada) and Yuri (Joey Iwanaga) are after the girls, as they have heard that they would be allowed to take their places in the guild if they took them out. Of course, it's not that easy to strike down the two pros. Now that Chisato and Mahiro don't have the support of the guild anymore, which usually cleans up after them, they are not allowed to kill anyone. But that doesn't stop Makoto and Yuri from getting serious...

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Baby Assassins 2 - Film Screenshot 4

Review: With its black humor and unexpectedly good action "Baby Assassins" was able to become quite the decent success story. The second part offers more of the same. This is both a positive and negative thing. Even though advertising and the trailers might promise otherwise, we don't get anything bigger or more epic here, and that's a good thing, because it means that the movie stays true to its origins. On the other hand, we expected at least a few innovations, such as a better story, or that there would be more at stake. Instead, it's once more all about the friendship between the two girls. Still, the chemistry between them does not quite manage to reach the level of the movie's predecessor. Once more, the scenes consist of long continuous shots in which the relationship apparently unfolds in an improvised way. Unfortunately, the final spark is missing. But maybe that's also due to the two antagonists, who occasionally steal the show and at the same time draw attention to one of the movie's biggest weaknesses, which in fact could have been its biggest strength.

Baby Assassins 2 - Film Screenshot 5

Because the two wanna-be assassins could have created a beautiful mirror to be held up to the two girls. They are quite similar to them, but as individuals they are also pretty different. You are often more interested in finding out more about them than about the two girls, which may also be due to the fact that we already know the most important things about the latter. With its tight 100 minutes, however, it is also problematic that the two duos have to share screen time. So sometimes it feels like both sides are coming up short. As for Chisato and Mahiro, the flick also lacks a few memorable scenes. In the first part we got the "Maid Café", but this time we only get a part-time job in plush costumes. The dialogues also lack a bit of originality. Sometimes you actually get the impression that the two have known each other for such a long time that there is hardly anything interesting to say anymore. Well, that's not the point anyway, because the movie is based on the fact that the two just chitchat. But the male killers' dialogues actually bring a breath of fresh air to the movie.

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You also need to get used to the special kind of humor taking center stage here, and for the sequel that was sometimes harder for me to do than it was for the first part. The conversations are kept very casual and revolve around everyday events or absurd things, which also clearly shows parallels to Tarantino. Nonetheless, there is also constantly the kind of humor that you would expect from an anime, and Chisato in particular has the task of underlining the whole thing with the necessary facial expressions. It's never completely horrible, but it's annoying sometimes. Same goes for some of the supporting characters. The wanna-be killers seem a bit more grounded, though. Maybe that's why we are a little more interested in them. Unfortunately, director Yugo Sakamoto fails to properly address the parallels between the two duos. Especially towards the end it becomes clear that this new challenge is the story's real core and that in a way the men could be seen as the girls' successors. But on the way to the finish line, the movie missed out on some good opportunities.

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The action was another important aspect of the first part. Since choreographer Kensuke Sonomura is once again on board, you can expect great things, and even though you might feel like you will be disappointed as there is hardly any action until the finale, let me assure you: The showdown is great. While the action may seem more cartoonish in a few scenes, such as the gunfights that involve a bit of gun-fu, the final battle between Joey Iwanaga and Saori Izawa is real action and makes you feel the impact of every punch. Saori Izawa is not only supposed to look as if she knows how to fight - in contrast to her colleague -, she actually can, and she is fully committed. In the meantime, thanks to her work as a stunt double, she was already involved in movies like "John Wick 4", but I still hope that she will be given more roles in the future, as she has what it takes to be a real action heroine. The finale is fantastically choreographed, and the relentless punches and kicks pump up the adrenaline. Even though stepping it up a notch after the first part was a hard task, the director and choreographer managed to do exactly that.

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In addition, the prelude also provides a good start with its wild action, but unfortunately the story then loses itself in mediocrity and the humor isn't nearly as purposeful as it was probably intended to be. It is particularly frustrating that the relationship between the two girls has somewhat run out of steam. At least it seems, as if the director only put in half the effort here as he did with the male protagonists. Moreover, the movie could have been even more emotionally engaging, after all, the two killer duos are a lot more similar than you would think at first. Why the director passed up this opportunity is unclear to me. Instead, it is made constantly clear to us that the killers are all psychopaths, which certainly underlines the black humor, but also emotionally distances us from them. There's also too much goofing around that isn't on the same level of the last flick. "Baby Assassins 2" is clearly fun to watch, but it can't keep up with the first part and misses too many opportunities.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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