Go Ohara has history in films as a stuntman, this was his first crack at directing a feature film however and it rather shows. Geisha Assassin has a Mortal Kombat meets Kill Bill feel about it; the frantic action of the fighting has the feel of a video game, and there’s a definite Kill Bill style about the way that the film is set up. There’s little plot here, with the main emphasis on the samurai fighting.
Kotono (Minami Tsukui) witnessed the death of her father as a child, and several years later she has now set out to avenge his death. Hyo-e (Shigeru Kanai) is the man that killed her Father and the one that she really wants to get to, in order to do that however she must first get through a number of others that have set out to pit their skills against her.
With its jumpy camerawork, Geisha Assassin made me feel rather nauseous for the opening third of the film, and whilst I ultimately became somewhat used to the camera style it was definitely something that affected my overall enjoyment of the film. The one on one fighting scenes I felt were generally carried out rather well, at times when there were multiple people fighting main character Kotono however, the on-screen action just seemed to feel a little too much like Power Rangers (a programme that I never did enjoy, even as a child). With fight after fight of impressive action a gripping storyline is not necessarily a requirement, with Geisha Assassin the fighting action is a little too hit and miss for my liking though, and when the fighting falls flat there’s no great plot line to come to the film’s rescue.
Geisha Assassin is definitely not a terrible film, and included here are a number of impressive fight scenes that are well worth watching; with the good there is also a fair amount of bad to take though, and overall Geisha Assassin just didn’t really do it for me. The camerawork takes some getting used to and sticking with the film in the introduction was therefore quite a battle, and even after getting used to the camerawork I did still find several times that the film in places had quite a dizzying effect on me. Go Ohara can perhaps come back in the future with a more impressive offering as there are a few positive signs here, there’s still quite a bit to work on though and Geisha Assassin is a martial arts film where there is I feel much room for improvement.