Zero Woman 7 (Japan 1999)

Rating: *
Review Date: 9/10/99
Alternate Title: Zero Woman Returns (U.S. Title)
Cast: Saori Ono

The one thing I had to look forward to in this sequel was that it couldn't be any worse than "Zero Woman 6". This film starts off with a bang as Zero Woman kills three bad guys and an undercover cop within the first two minutes, which is highlighted by a surprisingly juicy head squib. And five minutes into the film, she's naked. Unfortunately, from here the film slows to a crawl as Zero Woman takes on her next case. She's assigned to investigate a sleazy and maniacal businessman with underworld ties, and ends up becoming his courier and eventually his lover. She sticks with him even though he continues to abuse her and throw her into life threatening situations. The drama increases when she disobeys orders from Zero Section and has to decide where her loyalties lie. She finally finishes her job, and in a seriously downbeat ending, also gets what's coming to her. Could this be the end of the series?

The movie is actually semi-competently made, but it lacks vitality and is just downright dull. Typical of the series, the action scenes are extremely weak and the obligatory get naked sex romps serve no purpose other than to boost sales. This Zero Woman (played by Saori Ono) seems to be the most well adjusted of the bunch. She actually smiles occasionally, has a pleasant disposition, and tries to keep a simple day job, instead of sitting in her apartment and brooding all day like her predecessors. Unfortunately, she's not very convincing, but it's still marginally fun to watch her strut about in a short skirt and wave a gun around.