Fantastic Fest 2021- “Baby Assassins” Proves That Adulting is Killer: Film Review

You’re sitting in an important job interview and you accidentally say something wrong. It’s an awkward exchange that we’d all kill to avoid. In Mahiro’s (Saori Izawa) case, she takes that euphemism quite literally, eliminating an entire convenience store crew to avoid embarrassment.

For antisocialite Matsua and her peppy best friend Chisato (Akari Takaishi), killing is their professional trade. They slaughter and slice with as much ease as a artisanal butcher. However, their days as seemingly innocent high schoolers are coming to an end and as such, are forced to blend into society. Despite their expertise in murder, Matsua and Chisato still have as much to learn about growing up as any other teenager. Baby Assassins, in its own twisted way, shows just how difficult it is to mature into adulthood.

We follow these best friends as they take on some of their most fearsome foes to date: overenthusiastic managers, a broken washing machine and each other. While there’s plenty of action littered throughout the film as well, it’s the battles of the mundane that are the most entertaining to watch. In many ways, director Yûgo Sakamoto’s feature is like a golden age sitcom version of HBO’s Barry.

While Baby Assassins is sadly not a Baby Geniuses spinoff about deadly tykes, Sakamoto has crafted an action comedy that shows you can’t always solve a problem with fighting. Sometimes you need to talk things through and come to a mutual understanding. And sometimes, you can just use a gun…

The Silver Lining

While the focus in Baby Assassins overcoming the ordinary, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a shortage of action. Fight choreographer Kensuke Sonomira has crafted action sequences that are engaging and leave you wanting more. In particular, there are a few bird’s eye view shots in the first fight that are grotesquely gorgeous. Between Sonomira’s choreography and Sakamoto’s direction, the two could likely make Baby Assassins into a hit TV show if they wanted to!

Baby Assassins is coming soon to a screen near you.

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