'Hydra' - Movie Review

After watching "Baby Assassins" - and particularly its spectacular final fight - I decided to look up Masanori Mimoto. Which led me to "Hydra," a movie that's been sitting on my "to watch" list for a couple years. The movie jumps right in with the efficient murder of a police officer by one man followed by another man carting off the body for gruesome disposal ... and for the first 11 minutes of this only 77 minute movie, nobody says anything.

Then we meet our lead, Takashi (Masanori Mimoto), the stone-faced chef at a small restaurant/bar in Tokyo. The young owner (Miu) sees him as something of a father figure, and the waiter (Tasuku Nagase) is scared of him as he has some sense of how dangerous this man is. We learn that Takashi was an assassin himself, but has retired from guilt and is attempting to atone for his sins. Continuing to follow the action-movie template, his former employers and the enemies of his former employers come looking for him and try to destroy his good work. So he fights - we're all shocked.

The obviousness of the template aside, the story is executed reasonably well and the action is fairly good. Mimoto has a more minor role in "Baby Assassins," but a truly spectacular fight. It seems that this movie and "Baby Assassins" must have shared a fight choreographer, as the styles are very similar - on closer inspection, Kensuke Sonomura, who directed this film, was the action director for "Baby Assassins."