""Beautiful Beast" serves up a lovely femme assassin known as "Black Orchid," who is out to avenge her sister's murder at the hands of the Yakuza. Early in the film, after bumping off three Yakuza, she flees, taking refuge when a bar owner named Fujinami sees her being chased, and beckons her in. Fujinami turns out to be a former criminal who has since renounced his Yakuza past. While Black Orchid will take on virtually any Yakuza who crosses her path, she is specifically out to nail Mr. Ho, the Yakuza bigshot who killed her sister."Beautiful Beast" is a good killer-chick flick, though I would not go as far as to say it's a classic. The love story involving Black Orchid and Fujinami is moving, but the tension regarding Orchid discovering Fujinami is former Yakuza comes off weak, almost like that subplot was an afterthought. Mr. Ho is convincing as a slippery and creepy scumbag, so much that you find yourself chomping at the bit to see him bite the dust.The final showdown in "Beautiful Beast" is the one major piece in the movie that drops the ball. I'm not jotting this down to be a spoiler for those who have yet to see the movie, just a note that it came off very anti-climactic.Still, this is overall a good "Right back at ya" film. The music sets a good mood, the blood & guts are there, and "Black Orchid" is lovely and righteous!"
Red Army Killer
K. Brown | 04/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I felt Beautiful Beast was a bit above the standard level of the Japanese "girls with guns" films, if only because there is a better explanation given for the female protagonist's ability to function as an assassin and covert operative. Ran, also known as the Black Orchid, is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. She served as a Red Army commando for a time, fought as a guerilla in Afghanistan, and now works for the "Untouchables", a really scary gang out of Hong Kong.But Ran's mission to Japan is personal. Two mob leaders, the head of a local Yakuza ring, and the boss of a Taiwanese mafia band, are collectively guilty of the brutal torture and murder of Ran's younger sister. Ran arrives in Japan and blows away the Yakuza kingpen with little difficulty. Her struggle against the Taiwanese chief is more difficult and protracted, and at one point, Ran is captured and subjected to some pretty harsh torture herself. In the final battle, Ran does not concern herself with a "fair" fight; she uses her knowledge of military technologies and techniques to ensure absolute obliteration of her enemies.Zero Woman, Scorpion, and Black Angel have all returned for multiple adventures--I hope that Ran does so as well."
A review of a pretty good movie.
K. Brown | 10/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...It's a pretty good movie overall. It developes a nice plot. Plot? That's right. It is a revenge tale. Plain and simple. But the writers did a nice job of adding in some emotional turmoil too...Plenty of violence. And some nudity. Also has a hard to view tortue scene. Only down side. But pretty good overall."
Well Worth It
K. Brown | 01/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film was far better than I thought it would be. The lighting was dark and gritty, the morality amibigous, the action furious - everything an action freak could ask for.
I rated it only four stars because one scene seriously detracted in that they resorted to a "Deus Machina" style solution to get "The Black Orchid" out of a tight spot.
"Beautiful Beast" held my full attention throughout. Not once was I tempted to get up for a drink or anything else.
This is the type of movie you will come back to many times"
Beautiful is right!
ace3k69 | Edgemoor, SC United States | 03/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a great one!Action,determination,rapid fire pacing and of course,a beatiful heroine.The one love scene was a bit long-but that was my only complaint.If you enjoy 'hard boiled action' as the case advertises-this movie delivers!NOT A SPOILER-but where she sings near the end adds respect for the 'Black Orchid' So what are you waiting for-BUY IT!"