The Baby Assassins are back in trouble in Baby Assassins 2 – Babies. The film is playing Fantastic Fest 2023.
Baby Assassins 2 – Babies makes it look easy. The sequel does what all sequels should do. Do more of what worked and do less of what didn’t. Writer/director Yugo Sakamoto continues to create this unique twee (in the best way possible) world giving a stage for stars Akari Takaishi and Saori Izawas and their unique and beautiful chemistry.
The sequel picks up right where the original left off with Mahiro (Izawas) and Chiasto (Takaishi) on suspension from their full-time work as assassins. A mix-up with a gym membership and their medical insurance from the assassin guild puts them into further trouble. New regular jobs, gambling, deserts, and a duo of boy assassins who want their full-time work all contribute to Mahiro and Chiasto’s new set of issues.
By leaning out of the “villain” roles/storylines (which the original was very heavy on) and focusing on Mahiro and Chiasto’s daily life we get the best of what we loved about the original. The film feels more like a “hang out” film where we spend time with these best friends. There is something wonderful about how these two just exist scrolling, talking, eating, and enjoying the creature comforts of home as much as the excellent action set pieces entertain and delight. The way that Sakamoto writes the film in conversation circles that never involved the clichés of films about young women – primarily boys.
That isn’t to say it’s some precious film about friendship. The action is as good if not surpasses the original. The original may have had bigger scenes but there’s a refinement to the cinematography, geography, and editing that focuses everything. The work of accomplished action director Kensuke Sonomura continues to be the delight of the series. His work in the original was flashy and stylish. It remains that but leaning out the fights and focusing on the more personal one-on-one combat gives the film a slightly different flavor of action.
Baby Assassins 2 – Babies delivers what one would want from any sequel, less of what didn’t work and more of what did. The result is an emerging action comedy series that is rarest of all – featuring two female leads.
Note: stick around for the end credits for something special.