When it comes to hard-boiled revenge thrillers, it doesn’t get much more straight-forward than Takanori Tsujimoto’s Hard Revenge Milly. The story is almost identical to Kill Bill, but with only 45 minutes to work with. The story is about the future were guns and nuclear arms has been deregulated by the world government. Because of this Asia has became the center for criminal activity. Yokohama City is one of the area were it became a haven for a vicious gangster know as the Jack Brothers. When the Jack Brothers murdered Milly’s (Miki Mizuno) husband and daughter, she vows revenge and eventually sets off to find them at all cost.
Japanese cinema has a long history of female revenge films. This one doesn’t waste any of it’s 45 minutes setting up the story. It has got far too much violent revenge to dish out for that. The bloodthirsty leading lady is no slouch in the action department. There’s sort of a reserved glee in the way Mizuno’s character goes about her business, although you’d never know it from her cold stare. Watching her casually prop up her first victim’s corpse for the others to find and use his severed hand as writing utensil should amuse the gorehounds, and her lack of outward emotion while doing it is downright chilling.
It’s through flashbacks that we find out the Jack Brothers brutally assaulted her and left her for dead after viciously murdering her husband and burning her baby alive before her very eyes as she watched helplessly. Oh yeah….. Milly’s got some serious payback to deliver. When the time comes for Milly’s final battle with her nemesis, blades are exchanged for straight hand-to-hand combat. Koga trained in several forms of martial arts; including boxing, karate, and Muay Thai before becoming an actor—so watching these two go at it is really the crux of the movie. The result is further proof that Takanori Tsujimoto is probably overdue for a shot at directing a major feature film.
The showdown itself is the centerpiece to the story. That’s what revenge films are all about, but don’t worry, it doesn’t fail to deliver. Given the production constraints, Hard Revenge Milly turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining revenge flick. Naturally, she gets her revenge all in under 45 minutes too! This one is just a vicious lil’ snippet of a film just begging for a bit of expansion, or a sequel. However, this film isn’t perfect, there just wasn’t enough of it to make the whole package more than a tasty snack and not a filling meal of a film. Still, if you have an hour to kill, this Japan Cinema blog recommends you sit down and enjoy the gorey fun.