009-1: The End of the Beginning(2013)
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No, I didn't watch this nonsense from start to finish. Lets see--supposedly action takes place in future but Japanese censorship laws from today in full swing which means you never see any skin or, God forbid, naked female. Yes, for this you have to go underground, VPN, to specialty sites where you will dig out diamonds. Admittedly, men are still stupid in future and fall for good looking chicks--cannot blame them. When about 100 adults got killed I realized my waste of time and wrote this review.
Sometimes the idea is better then the execution. While slickly presented, the overdone plotting within a very small time frame makes it feel like a disconnected mess. That's the issue regarding the shot-on-video adaptation of 1970s spy manga "009-1: The End of the Beginning". A beautiful, but deadly cyborg spy 009-1 tries to rescue the doctor who made her a cyborg, but on this mission she begins to discover things of her past. It doesn't waste any time on filler, but it just feels shallow trying to squeeze a lot in. Therefore the development and emotional context loses out. Contrived story-telling involving twists and turns alongside jaded flashbacks don't have the impact as they should. Maybe this is due to the low-end budget, but certain things felt lazy and half- baked. Just like the computer effects. Now where it didn't lose focus, was the action. This remains non- stop and bloody, as it showers the screen with fireworks. They really do punch away, other times it's over-the-top and there's some bite. But the use of special effects in those scenes do become tiring, as well long-winded. Still there are some surprises, despite the run-of-the-mill set-up. You could say it does get hot and bothered, just look at those sexy outfits and the sensual teasing. Strangely enough, it's part of the story. The cast don't have too much to work with material-wise, but psychically it's a different story. Performances are stereotypical all round, but the stunning Mayuko Iwasa fits right at home as 009- 1. She brings the right temperament to her character, as her humane compassion starts to break away that ice-cold killing machine instinct.
It is some time in the future and a new world order has emerged, pitting the Western Block against the Eastern Block. J-Country is the border between the two powers. Mylene Hoffman is an undercover agent for the Western Block. She is also a cyborg, 009-1. She is good at her job, eliminating many of the West's enemies. However, while under her protection, her creator, Dr Klein, is kidnapped. Her employer blames 009-1 and suspends her. She doesn't take this well...Reasonably entertaining sci fi action-drama. Pretty basic storyline, though with enough twists and turns to keep you interested.Main focus, of course, is on the action scenes, and they come thick and fast. I'm generally not into action movies - they tend to be very formulaic and their action scenes unoriginal - but this seemed different and kept me interested.One reason my concentration was maintained was due to Mayuko Iwasa starring as 009-1. She is great on the eyes and definitely makes the movie more watchable than it otherwise would have been.
...There is no real emotional connection to the characters, or their development, resulting in very two dimensional individuals, the story itself, which fails to substantially bear fruit, being conceived in a similar vein.Having never viewed the Manga or Anime this feature is based upon, perhaps I was at a disadvantage, as I did not expect the opening of the film to encompass sex and nudity. The film exhibits an avid concentration on the legs and chests belonging to the female characters, and despite the lead never revealing her underlying flesh, which reflects the principles the feature is able to support, much of the sexual content contradicts this particular aspect through the severe limitation exhibited upon morals in general - even incest being a theme incorporated into the script.Almost all of the female characters dress in leather outfits that are absolutely stunning, revealing the physicality of the gorgeous women wearing them. There's one particular scene involving two women with magnificent external features, one of whom is pinned to a table, the other on top, her tongue dancing across the body of the woman who's tied down, saliva left in its wake. This, much like a scene where women are dressed in alluring maid outfits, which is a step up from other moments involving women whose attire is even more revealing, is obviously aimed towards a male audience, who will, in all likelihood, potentially enjoy the aforementioned scene, as it is easily one of the film's most memorable moments. Unfortunately, it seems the creators put too much thought into the tantalizing visuals and innuendo, and not enough elsewhere, which is where the attention was most required. Safe to say, feminists need not apply to watch this movie, with over 80% of the women in the feature been relegated to unnecessary sexist stereotypes.On the subject of the film's other prominent feature, the sheer mass of violence steadily increases over the course of the film, until red becomes the main color spilling across the screen. The fight scenes, although occasionally wonderfully executed, despite the obvious low budget, sometimes become tiresomely long-winded, even with the action oriented soundtrack which efficaciously works accompanying many of the scenes. Most of these battles take place in condemned locations that lack much physical appeal, whereas limited time is spent in the feature's more luxurious settings.Due to the focus on sexually related ideas, and buckets of blood and gore, the story exhibits minimal impact upon the viewer. In the future, the world is divided into two blocks: east and west. Mylene, otherwise known as 009-1 (Mayuko Iwasa), is a brilliant spy for the Western Block, outfitted with an arsenal of weaponry (including machine-guns in her breasts, that, although imaginative, have recently been shown elsewhere). In battle, she is outmatched, frequently been called upon to undergo dangerous operations. When eliminating a human trafficking operation, she happens upon Chris (Minehiro Kinomoto), whose very existence begins to change her life, causing her to feel a connective tug dragging her continuously towards him. Her employer, led by 020 (Naoto Takenaka) however, will not allow her to experience a normal life so easily. Upon been thrust into an operation to save a valued scientist, Dr. Klein (Aya Sugimoto), who has a direct connection to her past, Mylene finds herself in the center of a fight unlike any she has ever encountered. Who can she trust? What can she do? And can she figure it all out in time? A collection of cliché ideas, that are not nearly as predictable as they are flattening to the overall story, alongside an anti-climatic conclusion, that raises more questions than it deems to answer, while teasing the possibility of a sequel, inhibit much of the tension and suspense the film attempts to construct. If you, dear viewer, want to see an assortment of unfathomably beautiful women in sexy, sexy outfits, then please, look no further. If you want a film that contains a decent storyline, maybe you ought to look elsewhere...