Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle (2009): Japan – directed by Takanori Tsujimoto
Not rated by the MPAA – contains graphic violence and more CG blood, and some brief sexual material
Milly is back, in a slightly longer story than her previous outing, Hard Revenge Milly [review here]. This sequel is about twice as long as the first movie and still a wonderfully short feature, clocking in at just over 70 minutes. The perfect length to tell a quick story, provide some action, and not dawdle on the way.
This second installment takes the opportunity to expound on the subjects and characters in the first movie. There is a short recap at the beginning, for those who may not have seen Hard Revenge Milly. It isn’t necessary to have seen the first to enjoy the second, but some of the plot points will be more easily understood. This time around, more is learned about Milly and her strange cybernetic body as she attempts to protect herself from another roving band of killers.
Milly (played again by Miki Mizuno) is a loner, hiding out in abandoned warehouses in post-apocalyptic Japan. She is a deadly killer now, and empty; her revenge against The Jack Brothers did not satisfy her, it only made her more hollow.
She meets another young woman, Haru (Nao Nakazawa), who is after the person responsible for her lover’s death. She is bent on revenge and willing to do whatever it takes. Milly is reticent, at first, to help another person wreak vengeance. She knows the consequences too well. But, after rescuing Haru from a deadly fight she agrees to train her.
The pair of them train together, with Milly teaching Haru how to be a deadly, brutal killing weapon. But there is another gang after them, led by Ikki (Kazuki Tsujimoto), an admirer of Jack’s killing ability, and his brother. Hyuma (Rei Fujita) is younger and just beginning to learn the ways of the killing gangs. Eventually the pair and their fellow gang members will catch up with Milly and Haru, and perhaps a bloody battle will ensue.
More is learned about the world that Hard Revenge Milly is set in. Nice, mild interior sets lend a credible atmosphere to the science fiction setting, and the addition of characters like the doctor help flesh out the universe. More is explained about Milly’s mechanical chest implements. There is even a brief discussion of how the town fell to anarchy, with gangs roaming and murdering people for no reason at all.
But no one will watch Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle for the science fiction atmosphere. The key demographic will be wanting to know if there is more splattering and slashing, more exploding heads and severed limbs. In this, the movie does not disappoint. There are ridiculous geysers of blood, body parts being separated from their rightful owners, and more strange and improbable weaponry. The movie moves at a deliberate pace, despite the short running time, so there are a few pondering moments that might make the more action-addicted fans squirm impatiently.
Nevertheless, the film will strongly appeal to fans of Tokyo Gore Police, Machine Girl, and other Japanese shock films. The action is well-choreographed, and the rest of the production is surprisingly competent. There are even some forward-thinking characters who discuss being homosexual, one of whom is incredibly intolerant of bisexuals. These elements seem slightly out of place in this film, much like the interracial gay couple in Blacula who, while progressive, seem a bit anachronistic. Fans won’t care, however, for the focus remains on ridiculous, computer generated violence. Once again, others outside of that audience will want to avoid the film.