Hard Revenge, Milly: Bloody Battle (Japan 2009)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/20/10
Director: Takanori Tsujimoto
Cast: Miki Mizuno, Nao Nagasawa

After taking care of the Jack Brothers in "Hard Revenge, Milly" (2008), Milly (Miku Mizuno) finds herself targeted by Jack's friends. She also meets a young woman named Haru (Nao Nagasawa) who is seeking revenge for her slain lover, and the two become friends. Of course, it's immediately obvious where this is going, but the Milly films aren't known for their subtlety. In a surprise twist, Milly's coup de grace chest attack is countered and destroyed by a mechanically enhanced villain, which forces her to get more cybernetic upgrades. She also trades in her sword for some customized nunchakus and tonfas. Mizuno's nunchaku work is impressive, especially given the fact that she only had a day to learn and practice the moves. The nunchaku itself is equally impressive, as it completely takes off a guy's head and is also equipped with machine gun barrels. Nice... While that was a complete surprise and deliriously entertaining, nothing could prepare me for Milly's new finishing move, which is totally outrageous.

Once again, the gore team from "Machine Girl" (2007) and "Tokyo Gore Police" (2008) are on hand to provide the outlandish effects, with satisfyingly messy results. The action scenes are excellent and Miku Mizuno performs some very nice hand-to-hand and swordplay work. Nao Nagasawa's tonfa work is also fun to watch, and she completely throws herself into it. The film is nearly twice as long as the original, so it occasionally suffers from pacing issues and weak attempts at character development. Probably the most interesting character is Milly's strange and eccentric cyber surgeon. Is he a friend or foe, and what's his agenda? The final scenes of the film hint at something bad for Milly, which raises the question of her humanity and the nature of her existence.

If you liked the first film, you'll probably like this one as well, since it's more of the same. The slower pace may be a turn-off, but the action scenes eventually make up for up. Good stuff, and another action showcase for the impressive Miki Mizuno.