Fantasia 2023 Review: BABY ASSASSINS 2 BABIES, A Breathtaking Action Comedy Franchise Continues

Editor, U.S. ; Dallas, Texas (@HatefulJosh)
Fantasia 2023 Review: BABY ASSASSINS 2 BABIES, A Breathtaking Action Comedy Franchise Continues

One might be forgiven for being a bit confused at the opening of Sakamoto Yugo's Baby Assassins 2 Babies. There are indeed a pair of scrappy young killers casually approaching a murder for hire gig, they do handle it in a rather haphazard but ultimately effective and entertaining way, and they do share a witty repartee that definitely feels a part of the series. However, these two assassins are men, not the cutesy teen odd couple of Mahiro (Izawa Saori) and Chisato (Takaishi Akari) that we met in the vivacious first film. These two opposite pairs will battle for the duration of the film in spectacularly choreographed fight scenes, sometimes with and among each other, in this briskly paced, delightful sequel to Sakamoto's 2021 Japanese action comedy.

The boys, Makoto (Hamada Tatsuomi) and Yuri (Iwanaga Joey), are up-and-comers, trying to angle their way into the illustrious assassins’ union, you know, for the benefits. Upon hearing a rumor that the best way in is for another team to leave, they set their sights on our heroines, figuring that a pair of teenage girls shouldn’t be too hard to knock off. They are wrong.

However, before Mahiro and Chisato ever face off against their new rivals, they are going to have to save themselves from their own laissez faire attitude toward healthcare fees and a long unpaid gym membership. An attempt to pay these bills – which threaten to get them kicked out of the union before the boys even take a crack at them – goes horribly awry when they fumble their way into a bank robbery while trying to pay up, which they foil, but their interceding in the process gets them kicked out for working outside of their contract. Their position in question, and with a duo of hungry upstarts on their tail, the girls have a lot of work to do to get back in good standing.

Action comedies often have a lot of heavy lifting to do in terms of creating real tension between gags, and Baby Assassins 2 largely ignores any potential emotional weight by diving headfirst into absurdity of its situation. Mahiro and Chisato spend almost as much time in hilariously drawn out sequences of them just pigging out as they do with their wicked violent acrobatics.

There’s a real chemistry between the emo Mahiro and the hyperactive girly-girl Chisato, so much so that 3 minutes of watching them chug mountains of ice cream is ridiculously entertaining. However, when the clock strikes “kill”, they are all business and the kicks, punches, and bullets fly with astonishing results. Action director Sonomura Kensuke returns after the first film with the remit to kick things up a notch, and these fights definitely deliver, including the best Japanese mascot fight I have probably ever seen (sorry Yakuza Apocalypse). The action dazzles for sure, but it is well matched with the biting comedy and incredible timing of Sakamoto’s rapid-fire comedic script and instinct for conflict.

There’s an energy to Baby Assassins 2 Babies that is hard to match and impossible to ignore. The film fan in me regrets that someday these babies will have to grow up, but there is also excitement at where this franchise can go if it continues to grace us with dizzying marvels like this.

The film enjoyed its Canadian premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival

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Yugo SakamotoOto AbeTatsuomi HamadaJunpei HashinoAction

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