Yakuza Hunters 2: Duel In Hell (Japan 2010)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/2/18
Cast: Asami, Hitomi Miwa

Three years have passed and the local yakuza gang is forcefully evicting people from the neighborhood so they can build a giant casino. A nearly catatonic Asami stumbles back into town and returns to Dr. Inokuma's place, and miraculously has all of her fingers back, which makes for some confusing continuity. Once again, she has a score to settle with the yakuza bastards that are causing trouble, and this time she has to deal with a master assassin named Akira (Hitomi Miwa) before she can get her revenge. After unleashing her ultimate (and ridiculous) tornado finishing move, Asami's fate is unclear as her wounded body staggers off into the distance.

It's certainly not as wild and garish as the first "Yakuza Hunters" film, and it has more of a spaghetti Western vibe than a pinky violence vibe this time around. This music score is a definite improvement, which is also reminiscent of the spaghetti Western era. The movie is a lot more action oriented, and it's nice to see Asami showing off her fighting skills. Unfortunately, even though her execution looks great, the stuntmen pull their punches a little too much, and the overly soft and slow hits are punctuated with obnoxiously loud sound effects that end up spoiling the results. Thankfully, the digital blood is toned down considerably this time, so that's a plus. While it's arguably a more enjoyable film than the original, the production values are lower and the spastic camera work is intolerable. Asami is a treasure, and I'm always impressed by her intensity and how fully she commits herself to B-movie roles that offer so little in terms of character depth and development. She's an effortless combination of tough and sexy, with a disarming gaze and an aggressively feminine swagger. Once again, apart from her dominating screen presence, there's little reason to seek this movie out.