Kaette kita onna hissatsu ken / Return of the Sister Street Fighter (1975) - The perfect balance between brutality and empathy concludes the franchise on a solid note - 7/10 (27/06/19)
Return of the Sister Street Fighter is the third and last official entry in the franchise around empathic, resilient and tough martial artist Li Koryu. The story isn't a far call from the first two entries. A friend and police officer approaches Li Koryu in Hong Kong since his sister disappeared when investigating a shady company that smuggles gold by using chemicals. The man gets assassinated and Li Koryu needs to take care of his niece. They travel to Yokohama in hope to find the young girl's mother alive. The protagonist brings the charming young girl to her aunt but she has become a drug addict who quickly betrays them. Li Koryu has to confront a charismatic boss in a wheelchair with an artificial hand who organizes brutal death games between exotic martial artists to find a team of four fighters willing to stop the nosy protagonist from uncovering the company's dark secrets and setting the kidnapped woman free.
The movie has the same elements that made the two previous entries so entertaining. The quirky characters are quite diversified as we meet a sinister villain with a dark secret that could have come from the James Bond franchise and a martial artist who looks like a shady cowboy on one side but also a tormented drug addict forced to betray her own sister and a charming, dynamic and joyous young girl who must witness her family's slow demise on the other side. The locations are once again very interesting and especially the dramatic scenes close to an abandoned mine are quite fascinating and flirt with the western genre. The camera work is precise this time around and the vibrant soundtrack blends in very well.
The main reason why this movie isn't as great as its two predecessors is the fact that the fight scenes are quite brief this time around. Especially the two final duels only last about thirty seconds each when there would have been room for some more climatic duels. The film is also about ten minutes shorter than the other two films and seems to be slightly rushed as if it had been produced on a shoestring budget. The film would have been much better with a more generous budget, extended fight scenes and an additional length between ten to fifteen minutes.
Nevertheless, Return of the Sister Street Fighter is brutal, dynamic, entertaining, quirky and sinister all at once as it will entertain you from start to finish. It isn't the perfect conclusion to a great franchise but a very solid one. Fans of contemporary martial arts movies or action thrillers of the seventies will certainly get their money's worth. The perfect balance between empathic scenes and brutal sequences is the movie's greatest strength and one would have liked to see more movies in this sympathetic franchise and this comment comes from someone who usually dislikes endless sequels, prequels and franchises these days.« Onna hissatsu ken: Kiki ippatsu / Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread (1974) - Funky adventure with sinister antagonists - 8/10 (27/06/19)Onna hissatsu godan ken / Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (1976) - Entertaining action thriller unrelated to the franchise - 6/10 (27/06/19) »