The New Metropolitan Police Branch 82 (Japan 1998)

Rating: **
Alternate Titles: Tokyo Blue (ADV Films)
Review Date: 9/10/99
Cast: Chieko Shiratori

Definitely a guilty pleasure. This video takes the worn out "Zero Woman" genre, marries it with the tiresome cop buddy formula, and somehow doesn't manage to suck. Mika and Rin are female police investigators who have been assigned to keep an eye on a recently released prisoner and make sure he doesn't try to leave the country. Mika is a tough, serious minded bitch, while Rin is a loud, obnoxious chick with a overly healthy interest in sex and rap music (ugh). Naturally, they can't stand working with each other, but the energetic chemistry between them is so genuine that it doesn't come off as being too cliché. Of course, things go all to hell, and when the girls are pulled off the case they decide to investigate on their own. Rin manages to crack the case with her keen sense of smell, but gets captured in the process. Mika manages to track her down to an abandoned building and rescues Rin through superior firepower.

It's not as good as the original "Metropolitan Police Branch 82" (1995) in terms of content and execution, and it seems to be more of a remake or alternate retelling than anything else. Mika and Rin are completely different characters, and there's no evidence of them having any past history with each other. A confusing approach, but an easy way to cash in on an established franchise.

It's enjoyable voyeuristic fluff and the girls are a lot of fun to watch. Super sexy Chieko Shiratori ("Zero Woman 6" (1998) ) is simply amazing to behold, and she handles her gun and herself with supreme confidence and defiant authority. Sure, the action scenes are pretty pathetic, but they're sprinkled with brief moments of true inspiration throughout. Also typical of the genre, there's a fair helping of playful sex and nudity, and idiot males who drop their guns at the first sight of a naked woman. Still, despite the distasteful trappings of the erotic thriller genre, the strength of the characters and the above average production values make this a fun girls 'n' guns romp.