Coming to theatres and VOD from director Vicente Amorim and Magnet is the story of fate and a sword being a YAKUZA PRINCESS.
Akemi (Masumi) is a woman whose life started out in a violent way. When her family is brutally attacked, and the toddler survives. Years go by and she is now in Sao Paulo, Brazil grieving for her grandfather, working at night and training with her sensei Chiba (Toshiji Takeshima). Her world is about to change.
Waking up in the hospital is Shiro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) all banged up and does not remember who he is or why he is there. What he does seem to have a connect with is a sword that the doctor shows him. Now he wants to get away from the hospital and find answers and that leads him to Akemi.
Right behind him is a man named Takeshi (Tsuyoshi Ihara) who is on the hunt for her. Right behind him is Kojiro (Eijiro Ozaki) and there are guns blazing and fights happening. It does not tell Akemi anything more about why or the connection she has to the sword.
But the answers do start to come and with each one Akemi becomes angrier and more determined to stop being the victim and become the warrior to avenge her family!
Masumi as Akemi is a fighter but in the midst of grieving. Trying to decide what she wants to do with her life and where she wants to be, the fate of a sword is deciding for her. Masumi gives her character strength, determination and the ability to take a punch all while discovering the darker secrets of her life. I enjoyed her performance.
Meyers as Shiro is a bit of a complex character. Is he good? Is he bad? Where does he fit in all of this? With each question comes a piece of the answer but then it gets yanked back so we are never quite sure what piece of the puzzle he is. Meyers spends most of his time getting his body pummeled but I will give him props that he comes in when it matters.
Ihara as Takeshi is another character where you are never quite sure where he falls in all of this. He keeps the viewer leery at all times which is an element of suspense that’s pretty cool for the film. Ozaki as Kojiro is just an out and out bad guy and he makes no bones about it. From the first scene he is in to the last, he is determined to take out as many people as possible.
Other cast include Nicolas Trevijano as Wallace, Charles Paraventi as Armond, Lucas Oranmian as Perito, Kenny Leu as the taxi driver and Mrs. Tsugahara as Mariko Takai.
Magnet is a part of Magnolia Pictures that specializes in films from the vanguard of horror, action, comedy and Asian cinema. It is also the home of classics like Tomas Alfredson’s LET THE RIGHT ON IN, Ti West’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Andre Ovredal’s TROLLHUNTER, Neil Marshall’s sword and sandals bloodbath CENTURION and Tony Jaa’s ONG BAK trilogy. Recent released include the terrifying anthologies V/H/S and V/H/S/2, Xan Cassavettes’ stylish vampire film KISS OF THE DAMNED, and the sci-fi thriller THE LAST DAYS ON MARS. Upcoming films include Ti West’s THE SACRAMENT and to find out more of what is to come please visit www.magnetreleasingfilms.com.
YAKUZA PRINCESS is a story of loss, secrets, distrust, violence and all to keep the character of Akemi away from her past. There is action from start to finish with no breaks in between. As each secret is unwrapped, it is only partial unwrapped depending on who is doing the telling.
The addition of Meyers as Shiro brings a difficult dynamic between the characters of Akemi and Shiro. Trust becomes broken but at the same time there is the potential for an enemy to be useful in her fight for answers.
The door is also open for the characters of Akemi and Shiro to expand the story and bring it full circle. I would not mind seeing how that storyline plays out as long as it is Masumi and Meyers doing the seeking on their return to Japan.
In the end – every sword has a story!