Lady Battlecop

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Tired and dull Robocop clone. But after all, “women were made for tennis”…

At least, so claims one of the songs in this largely ineffective movie, about professional tennis starlet Kaoru – Anna Kournikova will be in the Hollywood remake, no doubt – who is transformed into a crime-fighting machine. This takes place after she is killed by the Cartel, a crime syndicate bent on taking over Japan, despite apparently having about seven members. They do, however, have a “psychic robot” called Amadeus, which is probably the sole original thought in the entire film, and the whole thing gets kicked up a notch during his battles. The interesting question of where he came from (apparently a NASA creation), is never explored. This is a shame, since it’d be rather more interesting than almost anything the film actually offers.

As it is, it quickly gets tedious after the first time we see Lady Battlecop walk unharmed through a hail of bullets. [When the Cartel find a weapon that actually hurts her, this behemoth of evil can apparently afford only one of them] Keita Amamiya, who’d later go on to direct better films of his own, such as the two Zeiram movies, designed the suit, and it’s not bad – I liked little touches such as the dangling ear-ring and what may be turn indicators – but either it or the actress are incapable of moving above walking pace. Or performing martial arts, stunts, or indeed, anything else that might provide much-needed entertainment.

Many scenes and even dialogue will strongly remind you of Paul Verhoeven’s classic, but where Robocop was sharp and satirical, this is bland and vacuous. There’s little attempt made to make the characters interesting, and the Cartel’s enforcers come across with more depth, even if they never do much beyond sneer and rant. The good guys (and gal) here are left to dream of getting emotive depth.

Dir: Akihisa Okamoto
Star: Azusa Nakamura, Keisuke Yamashita, Masaru Matsuda, Shiro Sano
a.k.a. Lady Battle Cop

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