Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yo-yo Girl Cop [2006]

I used to have a movie review blog. That was back in college, when I watched a movie a day for my film major. For every movie I watched in class, I needed to watch one at home as a sort of palette-cleanser. These days, I don't watch many movies--many one or two a week. I'm a little burnt out.

Yo-yo Girl Cop has been sitting on my hard-drive for a few months now. My guilty secret is that I'm a j-pop fan, and this film stars one of the artists I like--Aya Matsuura--as a teenage delinquent who is enlisted by the Japanese police to track down an organization of terrorist bombers. I think the reason that I didn't watch it for so long was because I knew it wouldn't be very good.

Japanese entertainers have a very short shelf-life. Unlike American movie stars, comedians, and other entertainers, Japanese "talents" fade from the limelight in just a few short years. Aya Matsuura was big between 2000 and 2009, but since then she has faded as well. This film was made in 2006, at the height of her popularity. It is obviously a star vehicle for the pop singer, and as you would expect the soundtracks biggest pieces all star Matsuura.

The plot is wafer-thin, involving the singer infiltrating a Japanese high school and befriending the students in an attempt to find the terrorists. What follows is a series of random coincidences that somehow lead to the discovery and apprehension of the culprits. Most of the characters had strange and unbelievable motivations. The main villain justifies his crime spree with "it's just a game."

But the worst part is that the yo-yo fighting, which is considered so essential to the plot that it is incorporated into the title, only appears in the last twenty minutes of a two-hour movie. To be fair, the yo-yo fighting is pretty cool, but up until the climax the director is just baiting us with shots of Matsuura reaching for her yo-yo, thinking better of it, and then leaving it alone.

I wouldn't watch this movie again, but I would watch the final battle on Youtube. The last twenty minutes is probably the only part worth seeing, unfortunately.

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