Monday, July 19, 2021

Hydra Review: Indie Japanese Martial Arts Action

Masanori Mimoto	...	Takashi Sato Miu	Miu	...	Rina Kishida Tasuku Nagase	Tasuku Nagase	...	Kenta Kirita Takaya Aoyagi	Takaya Aoyagi	...	Shinichi Miyazaki Takashi Nishina	Takashi Nishina	...	Masa Sugimoto Satoshi Kibe	Satoshi Kibe	...	Yosuke Mirai Kensuke Sonomura	Kensuke Sonomura	...	Rick Tsutomu Uchigasaki	Tsutomu Uchigasaki	...	Naoyuki Sawada Naoki Hayashida	Naoki Hayashida	...	Yoichi Kouzuma Kazunori Yajima	Kazunori Yajima	...	Roi Yuma Takagi	Yuma Takagi	...	Takashi Sato - 7 Years Old Kaoru Gotô	Kaoru Gotô	...	Yukari Uchiumi Hironobu Nomura	Hironobu Nomura	...	Keiji Hasegawa Naohiro Kawamoto	Naohiro Kawamoto	...	Syu Ueda Tomoro Taguchi	Tomoro Taguchi	...	Teru Nakaya (as Tomorowo Taguchi) Yoji Tanaka	Yoji Tanaka	...	Junichiro Kishida (as BoBA)

Release date: July 20, 2021 (Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital)
Running time: 78 minutes
Directed By: Kensuke Sonomura
Starring: Masanori Mimoto

After retiring as an assassin, Takashi leads a quiet life as a chef at a sushi bar, where he secretly watches over the daughter of a former associate. His peace is short-lived: soon, he is recruited for a final job that he simply can’t refuse.

Produced by  Yoshitsugu Kogawa	...	executive producer Kazunari Nakajima	...	executive producer Masataka Yamada	...	producerCinematography by  Yasuyuki Suzuki	Film Editing by  Kensuke Sonomura	Stunts  Koji Kawamoto	...	action cooperation Naohiro Kawamoto	...	action choreographer Masanori Mimoto	...	action choreographer Kensuke Sonomura	...	action choreographer
Hydra feels like an indie Japanese film from the small cast to the limited locations and short run time.  But the movie does have a lot going for it.  There is an air of mystery to the main character as you don't quite know what to make of him initially.  He is a mysterious, quiet person that is supremely confident but also quite awkward.  I liked him at times but overall he did come off as a little weird with his absolute refusal to interact with people.  There would be genuine attempts to try and talk with him or become friends with him, and he would essentially just show zero emotion.  He would go to those events but not really say or do much.  And the film also has some really great action sequences that are exciting to watch.  They are fast paced and action packed, although they do sometimes feel like more flailing and less actual fighting.  This might be because they are hitting so fast, but it sometimes looked like hands were moving but not actually connecting into meaningful fight sequences.  

However, Hydra is a short movie that takes a very long time to develop.  We learn a little bit about the setting and characters, and the main story doesn't really get started until about 40 minutes into the film.  This wouldn't be a big issue if the film wasn't a total of 78 minutes long.  The story is also confusing with not a lot revealed at the start.  And when the big revelation happens, it is not that impactful mostly because you don't' quite know what to make of the main character.  And there were some confusing additional touches at the end that blunted the impact of the overall film.  But if you're interested in a film with some intense fighting and hand to hand combat, Hydra is a good choice.  And it is also accompanied by some really great music (I especially liked the jazz songs) and some stylish touches to the action, like a scene where the film goes black and white during a flash back.

Hydra has intense hand to hand combat, a good musical score, and a mysterious story, in this indie Japanese martial arts detective film.

Rent it.

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Hydra is available on VOD, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray on July 20, 2021.  It is also available to stream on Hi-Yah! now!

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