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POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, December 22, 2013 Share
Rina Takeda, the 22-year black belt in Ryukyu Shorin-ryu Karate and the star of High Kick Girl!, stars as Ayaka Kurenai. Takeda is at her best when she is trashing large male opponents and Karate Girl shows off her hard earned skills to the max.
The story begins with the legend of Shoujirou Kurenai, an Okinawan karate master, who has the ability to kill with a single blow. He has two daughters named Ayaka and Natsuki.
One day at the dojo a rival forces his way inside with the sole purpose of taking Kurenai’s black belt and killing him off, thus taking over Kurenai Karate. During the conflict Shoujirou is tragically killed and one daughter remains while the other is taken.
Ayaka grows up to become a karate master like her father. She works at a movie theater and when a woman’s purse is snatched by two crooks, it is up to Ayaka to stop them using her precise kicks, punches, and joint locks that annihilate her foolish opponents.
Everyone in the theater takes note and thanks to video cameras on cell phones, the video is shot of Ayaka kicking booty and is soon available on the internet. Now more people learn of Ayaka and her amazing skills.
Meanwhile, at a secret dojo compound, the rival group is busy practicing karate and training Natsuki. The main man who you don’t want to mess with is a tall, strong American, Keith, who punishes all those who fail in fights. The group is looking to send him out to other countries for a large fee for his vicious karate skills.
Karate Girl is set in Yokohama and much is made of this fantastic city including a nice shot of Chinatown. Although Natsuki has good karate skills and does some cool stunts, she pales to her older sister Ayaka who is clearly the one to watch.
Ok, I’ll admit that the plot to Karate Girl isn’t really original and something all martial arts movie fans have seen many time before, however the action shots are well done and the cast and crew spent a lot of time getting the karate action to look good on screen.
There are the usually clichés like a punch to the face that knocks an opponent several feet back and a look of agony on the stunt person’s face that helps sell the technique when in reality not a lot of force was used to avoid injury.
The sound effects are extremely loud in the mix causes a light kick to the chest sound like a bomb exploding right next to you. The biggest disappointment is that you know how Karate Girl is going to end before it happens.
With all that said, this is worth your time, especially if you are an action movie fan. Why? Because Karate Girl showcases karate, in all its glory, just like Way of the Dragon showed off Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and Ong Bak showed off Muay Thai, and 36 Chambers of Shaolin showed off real kung fu. With so many martial arts movies out that showcase so many different styles it is refreshing to see karate make a comeback.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.
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