Action coordinator Kensuke Sonomura makes his directorial debut with Hydra from Well Go USA Entertainment. First things first, the film is not an adaptation of the Marvel Comics fictional terrorist organization. Instead, Jiro Kaneko’s script for Hydra takes place at a small bar in the middle of Tokyo. Our protagonist is Takashi (Masanori Mimoto), a standoffish guy leading a quiet life. He is working as a chef at a sushi bar where he secretly watches over the daughter of a former associate. You see, Takashi is hiding his former identity as a highly skilled hitman. His peace is short-lived. Soon, he has to take on one last job that he cannot refuse. Now he has to face a brutal killing game that where he is a crucial target.
Generally, with martial arts/action films from the east, I do not emphasize the plot. Primarily I want to see one thing, and that is some ass kicking. The story of Hydra is one that we have seen before. So let us focus on the action, shall we? Kensuke Sonomura’s debut runs for a quick seventy minutes. Hydra went by so fast; I had no idea it was over when the credits rolled. The movie opens with a tease that shows us Takashi’s skill set, and from there, we have to wait a bit for some more action.
However, when the action does arrive, you get kicks, knife fights, and get old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat. I do feel that perhaps movies could have fleshed out a bit more as Takashi is not an interesting character. Then again, maybe the film’s director and writer are setting up a shared universe, and Hydra is merely an appetizer of what is to come.
Nevertheless, Hydra’s brief run time and speculator action deliver just what action fans want to see.
Final Grade: B
Hydra is exclusively available on the martial arts streaming service Hi-YAH!. The film hits Digital, Blu-ray and DVD July 20.