Cinema Epoch // 2009 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Josh Rode (Retired) // August 4th, 2011
A fanboy fantasy about lesbians, martial arts, high heels and science.
The two things that would have really helped to know before I started watching Minty: The Assassin: 1) Minty is supposed to be the heroine of her own pretend graphic novel series, and 2) The evil Dr. Brain Bender is a fanboy (their word, not mine) from the real world who has somehow managed to enter her comic book world and is able to manipulate the minds of the villains therein.
At least, that's what I gathered from reading the extraordinarily muddled DVD case along with the information on the Minty: The Assassin website. You wouldn't necessarily be able to come to those conclusions based on just watching the movie. This should be your first red flag: any film that requires supplemental research to figure out what the heck is going on is either based on a Faulkner novel or written so poorly that the film alone can't explain itself. One guess into which category Minty: The Assassin falls.
As for the actual plot, the titular heroine (Elina Madison, Orgy of Blood) is forced to fight a bevy of comic book villains while trying to get to the top level of a tower (a la Game of Death) in order to save her mentor. That's pretty much it. The acting ranges from bad to mediocre. Ricardo Mamood-Vega (Ultraviolet) fares the best as a blindfolded gunslinger and Elan Tom (Ping Pong Playa) is kind of funny as a Bruce Lee knockoff. Madison is adequate, delivering her lines fluently if not with conviction. Tabitha Taylor (Hollywood and Wine) shares every bit of her supplemented assets but her acting is high school level at best. Not all the blame rests with the actors; the exposition-heavy script is full of poor attempts at comedy and pseudo-intellectual jibber jabber that ruins the flow of the action. All of the humans are upstaged by a cartoon bunny, simply because the bunny has zero dialogue.
The choreography and direction also leave a lot to be desired. One of the fights in the tower is decent, but for the most part the action is played for laughs and rarely succeeds. The first fight of the film is so bad it would make a Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger scoff. Writer and director Eugene Baldovino gives the audience no credit for intelligence; every time there is a key plot point, he adds a series of flashbacks to remind everyone how the newest development fits in.
For those of you who are thinking, "He just doesn't get it," I want you to know that I do. I know exactly where Minty: The Assassin is aiming, and I wish I could tell you it hits its mark, but it doesn't even come close. It can't even turn the corner from "bad" to "unintentionally funny bad." It's too self-aware for that; no one can intentionally make an unintentionally funny movie. If you want to see this film done properly, go watch Sucker Punch instead. Sucker Punch is everything that Minty: The Assassin wants to be, only a thousand times more. They're both built around all the things that the so-called "fanboy" likes: martial arts, comic books, a huge heaping of anime, and the obligatory scantily-clad women. In every category, Sucker Punch is the superior product, and it's not a close contest.
The video and sound can best be described as adequate. The camera catches all of the action, which is nearly miraculous given the claustrophobic sets, and there are, thankfully, only a couple of slow-motion shots. The picture is surprisingly clear, although the colors are muted, mostly because of the palette; almost everyone is dressed in neutral colors and all the rooms of the tower are drab. That being said, the knockout roses in the few outdoor scenes are all the more vibrant because of the indoor pallor. The Dolby 2.0 stereo sound is serviceable, and most of the lines are clear. The soundtrack is amazing; I've never heard of Pidgeon or 8-Bit before, but I'm checking out Amazon's MP3 section as soon as I finish this. Extras include a trailer that somehow makes the film look worse that it is, a short still gallery, and a really long list of other films released by Cinema Epoch.
If I had come across Minty: The Assassin before Sucker Punch, I might have given it an extremely tenuous recommendation, albeit only for those to whom it is squarely aimed. No. Never mind, I couldn't be so cruel.
Review content copyright © 2011 Josh Rode; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cinema Epoch
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Photo Gallery
* Official Site