Sky High (2003)

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A Tokyo cop’s bride to be is murdered by the serial killer he is tracking and returns from the afterlife to help bring him to justice.

Although Ryuhei Kitamara’s film shares the usual ingredients of ass-kicking babes with swords, an evil megalomaniac and new age spiritualism with Manga, its approach is an odd mix of J Horror and action fantasy that doesn’t quite gel. The script is just a little too flabby and wordy for a high octane action film but at the same time does not have the atmosphere or tension to be classed as true horror. But by far the biggest drawback is the lack of action, which is surprising considering his pedigree as director of stylish hack and slasher Azumi and gleeful schlock horror Versus which were both really rather good. The effects are also a little “straight to DVD” and the attractive cast can err on the side of ham a little too often.

The intriguing premise and some nice costumes make it watchable enough but it feels halfhearted and falls a little flat in execution.

5/10

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