With a title like Assault Girls, I was really expecting to see some absurd Japanese B-movie action. Writer and director Mamoru Oshii has already made a name for himself with anime films like Ghost in the Shell and Urusei yatsura, but Assault Girls is his first live action feature film. Well, to be honest, I can’t even really call this a film. This is a landmark review, ladies and gentlemen, because this is, without a doubt, the worst movie I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of stinkers (Geisha Assassin in particular held the spot for a while).
After a global thermonuclear war, a popular lifestyle choice in the new age of technologic enlightenment is to participate in a massive virtual reality video game where the aim is to hunt down and kill giant sand whales. Gray (Meisa Kuroki), Lucifer (Rinko Kikuchi), and Colonel (Hinako Saeki) are three battle hardened gamers who are each trying to reach the end boss and win the maximum amount of points. They each learn that they are going to have to team up to take down the boss, so the three girls and a drifter named Jäeger (Yoshikatsu Fujiki) being their hunt to find the end boss and defeat it.
Don’t be fooled by the summary. This movie has no plot. If a plot was a skeleton, then all we really have here is a rib cage. There isn’t even a full backbone to support this monstrosity of a “movie.” Clocking in at only 70 minutes, this film doesn’t have a long time to really engage the audience, so it has to really be good to catch our attention. Well, there really is nothing good about this movie if you haven’t guessed. From the start I had to sit through this pseudo-intellectual narration about the new technologic renaissance. As if this wasn’t bull shit enough, it hardly even ties into the movie! Why even have it? It takes up 10 minutes of a 70 minute long movie!
The trailer looks promising enough. I did notice that the CGI was pretty subpar, but that’s sort of to be expected with a movie of this kind. Even films like Machine Girl and RoboGeisha have shoddy effects, but they’re at least really fun movies! There’s a part in this movie that takes at least 15 minutes of just the characters walking through the desert with overly dramatic music playing over it. This is where the movie tries to get thematic and deep, I guess to match its ridiculous “philosophic” voice over from the beginning. Too bad the characters exist just as much as the story, so I started to skip ahead just to get past all the walking. For a title like Assault Girls, there’s a lot more walking around than there is actual action.
When there is action, it’s almost cool. The huge guns they use look cool and sound cool, and the giant sand whales are passable. The redemption of the movie would have happened at the end when the characters are fighting the main sand whale that’s supposed to be the end boss of the game. The fight, however, lasts about five or six minutes and is so sloppily done and without any tension that I couldn’t believe is was supposed to be the climax. It was, indeed, the perfect ending for such a terrible movie.
There’s moments when I began thinking Assault Girls was going to be cool and this review would turn out a lot different. But, to my chagrin, it only gets worse as it goes along. This is, without a doubt, the worst movie I ever sat through. The honor used to be held by Geisha Assassin, but at least that movie tried to deliver what it promises. Assault Girls was disappointing on every level, and that’s putting it mildly. I can’t even say it was so bad that it was good. It’s just plain terrible and, in my opinion, hardly qualifies as a movie.