Sloppy action fest would do better in rental markets
Sengoku Bloody Agent (2012)
Kung fu vs. sword. Tonfa vs. knife. Japanese sword vs. Chinese sword. 2013 already saw one excellent mixture of martial arts in Takanori Tsujimoto’s Bushido Man. Bruce Lee fanatic Naoki Takeda attempts a somewhat similar concept in his own film. The difference between the two action films is that while Bushido Man starred martial arts expert Mitsuki Koga, Sengoku Bloody Agent stars former bikini model Ayumi Kinoshita. That, unfortunately, is just about all that needs to be said about Sengoku Bloody Agent.
Takeda, who was one of the crew members bringing Bruce Lee’s original Game of Death footage back to life in Bruce Lee in G.O.D. (2000), has been making career in action films ever since. Sengoku Bloody Agent throws a bunch of rogue fighters, motivated by random childhood traumas, against the yakuza. Action is plentiful and shot without CGI or wires, but any inspiration is utterly lacking and the casting is wrong to begin with.
Sengoku Bloody Agent is a typical direct-to-video style action film with slightly higher production values. Storyline and characters are non-existent, and action fills the majority of the running time. Style and punch is lacking. The characters are played by a mixture of idols and b-movie actors. The outcome is like a bad episode in the TV series Alias, and should mainly please the fans of Kinoshita.
Supporting roles offer a couple of competent faces, mainly yakuza film regular Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi. Otherwise the only source of amusement is the closing credits. The ending suggest of a sequel, perhaps a series of them, though that would depend entirely on the film’s performance in rental stores. In cinema environment it’s hard to imagine much success of Sengoku Bloody Agent, when even good action films struggle to find audience at the Japanese box office.