Idol Sniper: The Movie (Japan 2020)

Rating: *
Review Date: 2/21/21
Cast: Mitsuki Endo, Yurie Seno, cameo by Sasa Handa

Rei (Mitsuki Endo) is a member of the pop group Destiny. In addition to singing, dancing, and modeling, the girls also operate as assassins. A rival assassin group attempts to take out Destiny, which leads to an escalating conflict that goes completely bonkers at the 50-minute mark and turns into a mind-blowing battle royale between a dozen "idol snipers." I'm clearly missing some context, because these include Ballet Sniper, Bayonet Sniper, Kendo Sniper, Karate Sniper, Kendama Sniper, Muscle Sniper, Acrobat Sniper, Chanson Singer Sniper, and Clarinet Sniper. Laughably, everyone ends up killing each other off, with only the Destiny girls and a dark assassin named Miyuki (Yurie Seno) surviving.

This is evidently a sequel in a series of at least three other films, and boasts 50 cameo appearances by former characters. It's like the "Infinity War" version of the "Idol Sniper" world, and the fact that nearly everyone dies seems to indicate a note of finality for the franchise. It's an extremely low budget affair and looks terrible. Gratuitous color filters are used in a weak attempt to make up for bad lighting, but the end result looks cheap and ugly. The action scenes are embarrassingly awful and make absolutely no sense. The gunplay is absurd and it's not clear whether the movie is trying to be funny, sexy, or dramatic, as it fails on every front. The first clue that you shouldn't take it seriously is when Sasa Handa shows up as a sexy assassin with a couple of "oppai rockets" attached to her chest. But even this silliness is handled so poorly that it doesn't offer any laughs or titillation (yes, I actually said that). The huge battle royale at the end is mildly entertaining due to its tongue-in-cheek outrageousness, but again, the execution is so poor that it leaves you wishing it was a lot better. The old adage "don't bring a knife to a gunfight" has no meaning here, as both guns and swords (and clarinets) are used in equal measure. The girls are semi-cute and Mitsuki Endo is a surprisingly good actress given the material, but overall it's a complete waste of time.