This second sequel to 1995's popular ZERO WOMAN is a stylish Japanese crime drama about two assassins one "good" and one "bad" who are having trouble doing their jobs. Tokyo special agent Rei (Kumiko Takeda), the Zero Woman, is in a slump. Haunted by childhood flashbacks of her father killing her adulterous mother, she's finding it difficult to kill criminals in cold blood and loses the trust of her demanding boss. Katsumura (Keiji Matsuda), meanwhile, is a yakuza gunman who has been hired to kill Rei. He has chosen his profession badly: He is about to kill Rei in a bar when he sees a tear trickle down her cheek; moved, he introduces himself instead of killing her. Neither Katsumura nor Rei make any effort to hide their identities, and after sleeping together they vow that next time they meet it will be "all business." The next time they do meet, Rei is attempting to kill one of Katsumura's bosses when she freezes up and is shot. Katsumura brings the wounded Rei to his girlfriend Tunomi's apartment and bandages her wounds. Katsumura's bosses are understandably annoyed with him at this point. "Why all this fuss over one lousy broad?!" bellows Diodachi, the "President." To force Katsumura's hand, they kidnap Tunomi and tell him he has until midnight of the next day to kill Rei. When he tracks Rei down, however, Katsumura still can't force himself to shoot her. Rei can't kill him either, and the last of several Mexican standoffs ends with the two assassins teaming up to find Tunomi before it's too late. The film gets off to somewhat of a slow start, and probably doesn't have enough action to satisfy some viewers. The cinematography is well done (the film is stylishly shot on video), but some of the scenes are so dark it's hard to tell what's happening. Still, the moral quandary of Rei, who's torn between her boss's desire for her to be "like a machine" and her own humanity, is affecting, and the final scene, with all the main players in an abandoned bowling alley, is outstanding.
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: NR
- Review: This second sequel to 1995's popular ZERO WOMAN is a stylish Japanese crime drama about two assassins one "good" and one "bad" who are having trouble doing their jobs. Tokyo special agent Rei (Kumiko Takeda), the Zero Woman, is in a slump. Ha… (more)