Silk & Steel (Police Branch 82 – Rebirth)

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“Take a look at the cover, and work it out yourself.”

Another title in the ongoing Metropolitan Police Branch series, has much the same ingredients as the other entries: cheesecake and mildly competent action. I think this is the second entry, but as the three films have three different pairs of actresses playing policewomen heroines Mika and Rin (Hara + Iijima in this case), it’s clear continuity is less the purpose of the exercise than the aforementioned C + MCA.

Most of the gratuitous nonsense is got out of the way early, with the pair going undercover as dancers at a strip-club – hey, what are the odds against that? Though it’s notable that one of the actresses is notably reluctant to disrobe; I would tell you which one, but, really, I could hardly tell them apart and, in any case, it’s an informational nugget of absolutely no importance. After this, the film largely forgets the nudity, heading off in a subplot where Rin (or is it Mika?) gets kidnapped and brainwashed by an evil, noodle-slurping villain, and Mika (or is it Rin?) has to rescue her, which involves acting as bait and going through the whole procedure.

If you’re thinking this sounds like an excuse for some BDSM scenarios…you’d be right, though it’s relatively restrained – pun not intended! – in this area. Or perhaps it just seems that way, in comparison to Blood Gnome? There are a couple of acceptable catfights between Mika and Rin before the finale which, being totally honest, I can’t remember as being either good or bad. Actually, this is true for the film as a whole: a week after seeing it, very little remains in my memory. Either I’m getting old, or this was as forgettable as it seems.

Dir: Masahide Kuwabara
Stars: Kumiko Hara, Miyuki Iijima, Hajime Tsukomo, Edo Yamaguchi

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