Geisha Assassin Review

The Film

I am an old fogey. I don't listen to Radio One anymore, I eulogise about cups of tea and I don't play video games. In the case of the latter this is because of their horrendous effect on modern movies, with gaming spin-offs polluting our screens and washing intelligence and originality from them as a result of their effluent presence. The lack of proper dialogue, real characters or a strong narrative point in current films is something that I place squarely at the door of video games. Amoral, aggressive and ruining the attention span of those who play them that's what I think, but this, of course, is just an opinion. An opinion from the kind of person who likes cricket.
Geisha Assassin is a series of slightly differentiated fights punctuated by a barely functioning narrative. In its short duration, there is fisticuffs at least every 10 minutes. All of these fights have predictable conclusions, all of these fights include choreography and set-ups you've seen done far better before, and all of the fights carry the same internal swaying of power as initially losing little girl eventually kicks ass.

It is not wholly unentertaining but Geisha Assassin is barely a film. It is regularly dull, predictable and completely without any sense of a unified setting. It is largely one basic idea repeated and reheated and crossed with several other genre staples from Chanbara and Samurai films, and then they deliver it with a female hero simply to try to sell it to girls too. Rare moments are interesting - the ghosts sequence is a nice development eventually botched by some poor costumes and dumb choreography. Overall though this is a product without heart.
The revenge tale of a Geisha daughter tracking down her Samurai Dad's killer whilst undergoing many challenges along the way is none too novel. The acting is plastic and full of posturing worthy of WWE, everything is delivered as if from a menu, and nothing in the way of character or meaning distinguishes it at all. And this brings me back to video games.

Geisha Assassin is a video game without the possibility of defeat or surprise. In it 18th century Japanese speak as if they are in the mall having a double cheeseburger, the acrobatics of the fighters are entirely artificial and no universe of narrative sense exists to keep any of this grounded within this particular fantasy. After the first 10 minutes, it was painfully clear that this was going to go on and on, and no last act revelations save the humanity of what you are watching.
This is brain in neutral, ignore the bad costumes, the bad dialogue and ropey hand to hand combat kind of entertainment. If it really was a video game you could just lose to get out of it or you could improve the action by kicking ass yourself, but it isn't a video game and it is barely a film. Geisha Assassin ain't worth your time.

Technical Specs

Shot badly, dressed badly and looking very cheap, this film needs a sympathetic transfer like Lily Allen needs a purpose. A single layer disc holds the film and combing and artefacts are rife throughout the transfer. I include a screenshot below to give you a sense of just how bad a standards conversion this is, and in motion this is incredibly jerky - eye scrunchingly so. I won't tell you about the last time I squinted this much but it's safe to say your optician might suggest you give this transfer a miss.
A single stereo mix with burnt in subs is offered on the audio front. It isn't dynamic but for all its flatness it is quite clear and the astoundingly prosaic music is unfortunately very easy to appreciate.

Special features

The region locked disc has a static menu and offers other trailers as the only extras. The trailers are letterboxed and subtitled.


Geisha Assassin is pretty poor and this release is of a similar quality.

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out of 10

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