Yo-Yo Girl Cop (Film)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, July 16, 2007

One of the biggest trends in Japanese filmmaking right now seems to be casting Asian pop stars as heroines in big roles. This is no exception with Yo-Yo Girl Cop, a remake of an old Japanese manga and live action TV series directed by Kenta Fukasaku (screenwriter of Battle Royale and director of its sequel) and starring J-Pop artist Aya Matsuura. While many films starring J-Pop artists are cheesy action affairs, Yo-Yo Girl is a surprisingly good watch thanks in part to the direction taken by Fukasaku and the decent acting ability of Matsuura.

The storyline of this movie revolves around Aya Matsuura’s character (Saki Asamiya) being coerced into a role of a special forces agent. Her goal is to find out what is going on at a local high school and how a mysterious underground website ties into suspected terrorists. While the story is a little crazy, the interactions between the various characters and intriguing action sequences help to make this movie extremely strong. In addition, Fukasaku even adds some humor elements in (such as when Saki is first learning how to use her yo-yo weapon and hits herself in the head with it). As one would expect, this is one of those action movies with completely unbelievable moves, but that is part of what makes it a fun watch.

While most Japanese action movies starring famous music artists often come off as cheesy, Yo-Yo Girl Cop often has a very hard boiled and edgy feel to it. With scenes that feature teenage suicide bombers and a final battle scene that feels almost right out of Kill Bill, this is not your average Japanese title. Some viewers will feel that director Kenta Fukasaku has ripped off various movies and TV shows (there is a countdown similar to that of the TV show 24 and the suicide bomber theme was used in the Battle Royale series), but these elements manage to help move the film along.

Yo-Yo Girl Cop is a surprisingly decent action movie that is a fun watch, just don’t take it seriously. It’s one of those anime come to life style movies with very unrealistic action sequences and a cool style to it. Those already in touch with movies of this style will find it a worthy addition to their collection, while everyone else should give it a rental to see if it’s their type of movie.


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