By Moira Sullivan
Kite is a sci-fi revenge thriller, a low budget property of Harvey Weinstein,starring Samuel L Jackson as Detective Karl Aker, and 20-year-old India Isley, as Sawa, a deadly teen assassin who is a hit girl for corrupt detectives and bad guys.Set in the future, this is a live action rendition of Kite Yasoumi Umetsu’s anime with human traffickers and rampant corruption. Umetsu from Fukushima Japan is best known for his anime Kite and Kite Liberator.
Sawa wants to forget her parents were murdered, and at the same time is out to revenge their death. Amp is a drug she uses to suppress memory and Sawa is hooked. Deep within Sawa is the orphan who lost her parents in a gory murder. Karl Aker, her father’s partner, looks after her, as does a young fellow assassin who knew her parents, Oburi played by Callan McAuliffe.
Sawa is a skilled fighter and plows through the targets for whoever hires her. Her specialty is her use of bullets that penetrate the body and cause it to explode.India Isley has a standout role as Sawa and her versatility as a victim and a violent perpetrator has just the right momentum.
The set design of the film is grungy and dark, but works, concerning how little money was actually spent on it. Most of the cars used in the film are from today. The set is reminiscent of Sucker Punch in its drab colors and freaky futuristic characters. Contrapuntal to all these dark colors is Sawa’s fire engine red wigs and clothing, offset by black and white costumes. The human traffickers, predominately black South Africans, are reminiscent of the cannibals of I Am Legend.
The live action film like the anime is graphically violent and R rated. Some of the cut out bad guy characters are opulently dressed with gaudy, colorful suits and some of the dialogue is also a bit stagey, like “I want her head in a sandwich bag”. The color that is used in the film comes from the clothing or blood, otherwise it is a dark dark universe.
Kite opens October 10 at theatres and on iTunes. The anime has a cult following and so will this film.
© 2014 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 10/08/14
Movie Magazine International