The movie is entertaining. For one thing, the lives of the protagonists are portrayed in a way that allows the viewer to sympathize and involve himself with them. He sees their troubles, how they are exploited and brutalized, and how they are forced to engage in petty theft and various schemes to survive. I might add that although many of these events are brutal or tragic, some are also infused with humor. At one point, for instance, the girls, needing to survive, catch pigeons with a net, cook the birds on a grill set up on the road, and sell them to passersby. The sequence is pathetic (in its depiction of what the women must do to survive), but it is silly as well.
What is more, the film is consistently exciting. There are numerous catfights, schemes concocted by the fugitive protagonists as well as by their vicious foes, and countless acts of savagery. Various women brawl with one another, or with the men who are their real enemies. Thuggish yakuza rape and torture the female protagonists or other women, and the women struggle both to retain their dignity and to get revenge for indignities they have been made to suffer. Even if it is not as extreme as are many other works from the same genre, the movie is, nonetheless, full of deliciously lurid fun.
Admittedly, as I already noted, Girl Boss Revenge is not as visually impressive as are some of Norifumi Suzuki's other films, but, that said, it is nicely realized. It simply has a more conventional look than do those works. While the viewer might not be drawn into some strange otherworldly realm, as he likely will be should he watch many of the other things the director has done, he is still certain to find himself immersed in a very real and very harsh world of poverty, violence, and excitement. The director's depiction of the universe his protagonists inhabit is nicely done.
Finally, I must note that both Miki Sugimoto and Reiko Ike acquit themselves well. Their best work is not to be found here, but both are appealing in their roles.
Girl Boss Revenge is not a great film, nor is it a particularly daring one. It is, however, an entertaining exploitation movie.
Review by Keith Allen
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