‘Every sword has a story’
Yakuza Princess is a 2021 Brazilian action-thriller film about a young heiress and an amnesiac stranger who have to form an alliance.
Directed by Vicente Amorim (The Division) from a screenplay co-written by Kimi Lee, Tubaldini Shelling (as L.G. Tubaldini Jr.) and Fernando Toste, based on the graphic novel Samurai Shiro by Danilo Beyruth.
The Filmland International production stars Masumi, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Tsuyoshi Ihara.
Set in the expansive Japanese community of Sao Paulo in Brazil — the largest Japanese diaspora in the world – Akemi (Masumi) is an orphan who discovers she is the heiress to half of the Yakuza crime syndicate.
Forging an uneasy alliance with an amnesiac stranger (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who believes an ancient sword binds their two fates, Akemi must unleash a war against the other half of the syndicate who wants her dead…
“Director Amorim took obvious inspiration from John Wick injecting bold hues of red, purple, and blue, while also enhancing the full motion comic book effect until the very end. That said, Yakuza Princess was often cold, and monotonous and never quite packed enough substance with the action scenes. Despite the strong turns by Masumi and Rhys-Meyers, Yakuza Princess never feels whole…” Cinema Crazed
“No one in Yakuza Princess is who they seem to be, and it’s best to go in with little knowledge of what’s to come. But it’s safe to say that it’s a film that pulls no punches. Its many fight scenes are well-executed with brutal stunts and swordplay […] Masumi ambitiously does her own stunts. She has a rock star energy and proves she’s not one to be messed with – a killer kick and a killer voice we get the pleasure of hearing.” Daily Dead
“The martial arts matchups fit into neon-soaked alleyways dressed in Portuguese instead of Japanese. It highlights the sublime beauty of Brazil while still telling a coherent story. It drags in certain spots due to the unimpressive villain […] I’d place this firmly in the exciting world of international action cinema, dead center of the pack, and definitely an exciting combination of elements.” Irish Film Critic
“Perhaps in time and with more acting training, Masumi can reach the level of her seasoned co-stars. Her action chops are great, and I wish her luck. It’s always wonderful to see a woman lead an action film. Seasoned cinematographer Gustavo Hadba […] has shot and lit the film expertly, and the colors are gorgeous, alternating from desaturation to vibrant, neons, ala Blade Runner.” Screen Anarchy
“Yakuza Princess is a paranoid thriller punctuated with bloody action sequences […] As it goes on it’s obvious that nobody is who, or what, they claim to be and even the dead have their secrets. By the film’s end, it’s nearly impossible to know who to trust […] For all the film’s publicity hypes it, the Brazilian setting really doesn’t add anything to the film.” Voices from the Balcony
In the USA, Yakuza Princess is released by Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing On-Demand on September 3, 2021.
In the UK, Yakuza Princess will be released by Signature Entertainment on September 13, 2021.
Cast and characters:
Masumi … Akemi
Jonathan Rhys Meyers … Shiro
Tsuyoshi Ihara … Takeshi
Kenny Leu … The Taxi Driver
Toshiji Takeshima … Chiba
Eijiro Ozaki … Kojiro
Lucas Oranmian … Perito
Mariko Takai … Mrs Tsugahara
Charles Paraventi … Armond
Nicolas Trevijano … Wallace