Yesterdayâ€™s blog post provided several possible movies for Smiffy to consider watchingâ€¦or avoiding. Today, I begin my four-part summary of the movie that I have chosen specifically as a gift to Smiffy. What he chooses to do with this is up to him. The movie is called Gun Woman. What is it about? You will have to read on to find out.
Before I start the summary, I should point out that there are a few things that may prevent Smiffy from including this movie in his movie review series, at least for the moment. It is not due to be released in the UK until the 29th of December, so he will probably not get to legally watch it by Christmas. It is about Â£13 on Amazon.uk, and I am not sure if that falls under Smiffyâ€™s price range for his series. You can find it online, but not necessarily with encoded subtitles. The movie also has quite a bit of nudity in it. I donâ€™t know if Smiffy has retired the â€œScene Missingâ€ gag for good, but there will need to be quite a lot of black boxes if he has. Fortunately, this movie does not linger on said naughty bits as much as it could have, but it does mean that there is still around 15 minutes-worth of black-boxed footage, much of it relevant to theâ€¦plot.
So, here we go.
The movie starts off with a woman taking a shower. We do not see her face, but we do see her butt for about ten seconds. Then we see a hand holding a gun for another ten seconds. Neither gun, nor woman, is the titular gun or woman of the title, by the way. The woman is shot dead. A man in a trench coat speaks into his wrist that he is done and is told that the coast is clear outside. The man (the Assassin) walks out of the bathroom and down the stairs, point his gun at whatever he feels like and looking kind of nervous. The movie spends a minute of him walking from the bathroom to the car, but the 80s-style soundtrack number goes on for only 45 seconds, so there is 15 seconds of him just walking. Some movies can do drawn-out scenes where only one thing happens, but those usually have some sort of atmosphere to either engage viewers or lull them into a sense of something. The atmosphere in this movie is neutral at best. No horror, no excitement, no relaxation, no interest, no contemplation; just nothing. The 80s-style music can go only so far to unsubtly patch over this filmâ€™s audio-visual void, and that is when it is there.
The driver (the Driver) thanks the Assassin of offering him this jobâ€¦as a lookout? He asks the Assassin what the extraction point and the Assassin says that it is Las Vegas. That is not exactly a point. All the Driver can say is that that is far. I am guessing that they are in Southern California or something. In any case, they are off.
Afterâ€¦an unspecified amount of time, The Driver asks who the target was. The Assassin replies that the target was a job that a friend of his had left unfinished. The Driver asks him if he was involved in some random deals in other cities, but The Assassin is not interested in conversation. Why didnâ€™t he just drive himself? Anyways, The Driver apologizes, and then almost immediately asks The Assassin if he knows about the Hamazaki story. The Assassin is annoyed, but eventually says that he does. The Driver comments that Hamazaki could have made a name for himself in Japanese politics had his son not been such a monster. Now, despite the fact that The Assassin had just said that he knew about Hamazakiâ€™s story, The Driver launches into an exposition dump about Hamazakiâ€™s son.
Hamazakiâ€™s son raped and killed a lot of people. Yet he escaped prosecution, because Hamazaki and his conglomerate hid the evidence. When Hamazaki died, the Conglomerate cut his son out and made it so that he would lose his inheritance if he stayed in Japan. He traveled the world until he ended up in Los Angeles, where his violence only worsened. Yet, he still avoided the law? Who covered up his crimes if the Conglomerate wouldnâ€™t? Did he pay people to do that for him with his inheritance? Maybe, but we wouldnâ€™t know that from this conversation or what is shown on screen.
The Assassin asks The Driver if he knows who was after Hamazakiâ€™s sonâ€¦or Hamazaki-san; I am not actually sure what he said there. In fact, the movie gave no indication that anyone had been after Hamazakiâ€˜s son (I am just going to call him Hamazaki) until right now. Anyways, The Driver thinks that some doctor from Japan was after him, and The Assassin confirms this. This means that The Assassin had known everything that The Driver had said before this and that the previous eighty seconds of expository backstory was simply for the â€œbenefitâ€ of the viewer. Why not just have a narrator instead of these boring characters? Hamazaki killed the doctorâ€™s wife and then raped her corpse as the doctor (already beaten by Hamazakiâ€™s minions) was forced to watch. Then he urinated on the doctorâ€™s face and then kicked it. The Driver asks why Hamazaki killed the doctorâ€™s wife, saying that he heard that there was a reason. Why there needed to be a reason seems unnecessary at this point, but The Assassin says that Hamazaki blamed the doctor for the death of Hamazaki the elder, even though his father had terminal cancer.
By now, it is quite clear that the voice of exposition has officially passed to The Assassin and The Driver is just a catalyst sounding board. The Driver asks him how the doctor had planned get his revenge. After all, the doctor was crippled, Hamazaki was surrounded all the time by bodyguards, and his house was a fortress. Actually, the house was simply a house and he had three bodyguards. Now, while I understand that the movie probably did not have the budget for a bigger house, I donâ€™t understand why it could not have just reused actors from other scenes and put masks on them to make it look like he had at least a dozen bodyguards. From how the movie shows it, the doctor could have hired a few hitmen to kill them all and that would be that. I have seen movies that were supposed to be about organized crime where it looks like the gang has no more than a dozen people and that was fine. I have complained about war movies where the armies look significantly smaller than the numbers that the characters provide, but I can accept that some viewers can overlook that or not even notice. But THREE? Am I to assume that there are other bodyguards who are simply off duty and the movie never EVER shows them?
Butâ€¦okay, letâ€™s pretend that these three bodyguards are actually three dozen elite guards. Okay, so how would this handicapped doctor get to Hamazaki? Well, according to The Assassin, the doctor was a mastermind, and his plan was perfect. A bomb? A missile? A call to the police? No.
The doctor, now known as The Mastermind, is in America too. He drives and drives and drives to this factory. He meets up with this man who shows him photographs of women. Apparently (we donâ€™t see what he does), The Mastermind picks out the picture of a Japanese woman. The man says that she is a meth addict who is â€œbarely fuckableâ€ and unable to be trained to do anything exciting. The Mastermind pays the man for her anyways. The man calls for Number 4 (the number of death, by the way) and out is brought Mayumi. She is awake when they meet, but seems unconscious when The Mastermind brings her to his lair. It is somewhat impressive that he can carry her over his left shoulder while he still has to use his right hand to hold the cane to support his busted leg. The Driver asks why The Mastermind would pick a junkie, and The Assassin admits that he doesnâ€™t know.
Just in case you are wondering, I will be switching from past tense to present tense without warning or consistency when discussing the flashbacks for no other reason that I am too lazy to fix any discrepancies.
The Mastermind chains Mayumi to a support beam and lets her go through withdrawal. She wriggles around and vomits. He tries to feed her someâ€¦porridge? She refuses to eat it, and he throws water on her. This goes on for a few months until Mayumi is no longer addicted, and she finally eats whatever The Mastermind has been cooking up for her. The Driver argues that either The Mastermind must have been either part of a cult or just stupid to be doing all of this.
The Assassin decides that this is a good enough time to give some backstory on Mayumi. She was a normal girl who got introduced to various drugs by a string of bad boyfriends. She eventually got addicted to meth, became a prostitute, and was sold overseas. The Driver is uninterested in this; he wants to hear about The Mastermindâ€™s plan. The Assassin is tired of talking and wants to get something to eat. And then he is back to telling the story just a few seconds later. Whatever.
The Mastermind planned to turn Mayumi into the perfect killer. The Driver thinks that this is some silly Manga Luc Besson nonsense, and that he should have just paid some killers to do it. I agree. The Assassin insists that it had to be Mayumi, or some attractive woman. He repeats The Driverâ€™s assertion that Hamazaki lived in an impregnable fortress and had bodyguards around him at all times. And, I guess that hiring a bunch of killers would not have worked? But The Driver accepts this line of thinking. Fine. So where did he find the compromise?
The Assassin asks if The Driver has heard of necrophilia. The Driver is shocked and disgusted, even though that was clearly something that Hamazaki had done at least once.Â The Assassin states that necrophilia has been around since the time of ancient civilizations. He claims that there is this place that had been set up with the funds from many wealthy and warped individuals. It is called The Room. Yep. The Room. It was a club for people who liked have sex with corpses. Hamazaki was a member of this club, because he loved to have sex with dead women even more than he liked raping live women. The movie kind of showed this already when he raped the corpse of The Mastermindâ€™s wife and he did not need to go to any club to do that. Perhaps, though, Hamazaki became part of the club for the status of it, not because he had no other access to dead women.
This classy club was hidden inside a nuclear waste disposal facility in a radiation control zone and the police were on the payroll. Bodyguards were not allowed to enter the club and had to stay five kilometers away for four hours. Clients were thoroughly checked for weapons. Honestly, this whole thing seems to be more trouble than it is worth. The place does not even look inviting; almost the entirety of the interior is a deathly sterile white. Hamazaki doesnâ€™t care, though. He just skips along into the corpse room and proceeds to have sex with the dead woman. Then he bites into part of her body (I have no idea what part) and eats it. Cannibalism costs extra. Seriously, though, what is so special about this place that Hamazaki pays to attend this place? Doesnâ€™t the selecting, the hunting, the torturing, and the killing have its own pleasures? Does the membership expire if he does not go regularly? Well, whatever. I am done for the day. See you guys tomorrow.