Kernel Jordan reviews KITE, a stylised action movie based on the 1999 anime of the same name by Yasuomi Umetsu. It is a fairly unloved movie, one I myself turned off while trying to watch with my parents, they loathed it and I could not bring myself to re-view it so Kernel Jordan stepped in with fresh eyes. It has been described as the worst movies Samuel L Jackson has made out of all the worst movies he has made and when you have lines like “looks like someone used a grenade to clean out their sinuses” you know where the film is heading. It is heavily stylised though and from what I saw it did look good, sadly I also really like Callan McAuliffe and it’s a shame he is attached to the movie. If you are interested in seeing it yourself we actually have two copies on DVD for you to win thanks to the fine folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment Australia, from now on known as Defiant Screen Entertainment. Enjoy Jordan’s thoughts and find out how to win afterwards. All the best………JK.





From the opening scenes the world of South Africa, through this movie’s tinted glasses, is presented to us in a grisly way, with human trafficking rife and cops who don’t seem to look twice. It is a dark and twisted world; a title card informs us that this is the world post-financial collapse and that state security has broken down. ‘Numbers gangs’ terrorise the streets, terrorising, kidnapping and selling children to international ‘flesh cartels’ run by ‘The Amir’.

It is a lot to take in to begin the movie, and during the opening scenes, we see a gang kidnapping children, while the police force seem to not care, or have resigned to the fact that there isn’t anything they can do to stop it. A sense of impending doom lurks over the film, and within this world we meet Sawa, who it seems has been caught by one of these gangs, but it is unclear. In fact, most of this movie is unclear, which is its biggest weakness. It also seems Sawa is a trained killer, which she makes brutally clear not long into the film.




We are quickly introduced to Lieutenant Karl Aker, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who is supplying Sawa with something called amp to erase her memories, as she was traumatised by the death of her parents and does not want to remember it. At some point in the movie it is said that the drug was developed for those who suffer from post-traumatic-stress-disorder, or PTSD. When we first see the detective and Sawa together, it becomes obvious that she is addicted to the stuff, and is trembling. Aker tells her it is an addiction, not just the amp, but her lust for revenge. Why the lust for revenge?

Apparently she wants to find the person who killed her parents, and despite being a cop, Aker helps her every step of the way, from providing her with the drug to erase her memories, to covering for her when she decides to get violent. His motives for doing this are unclear for most of the movie, which in this case is a positive thing and helps maintain tension. What is perfectly clear though is that both Sawa and this shady detective both want the same thing: ‘The Amir’, the head of all the human trafficking, and the man responsible for the death of Sawa’s parents.




Lost? I must admit I am a little lost just writing this, as I often was when I watched the film, but it seems like a premise good enough for an action movie, right? We have a dangerous female character, which is always refreshing in the male infested world of movies, though too often her character turns into the doe-eyed damsel in distress. She is also often scantily clad and looks easily under 18, which removes any presence or originality her character could have had. We also have Samuel L. Jackson’s detective Karl Aker, who is helping Sawa despite the fact she seems to kill without a second thought, leaving Aker to clean up after her.

Okay, so the story is a bit confusing. What of the action scenes though, are they any good? Well, they are a mixed bag. Some scenes really deliver some great, brutal action, despite some shaky camerawork. There is a ton of blood here, so if you have a weak stomach avoid this at all costs. But the other half of the action seems horribly by-the-numbers, with some almost cheesy looking fight scenes that look awfully choreographed. Sawa also seems invincible throughout the movie, with every bullet missing her while every bullet she fires hits its target. We never find out how she became such a merciless assassin either, she just kills everyone she comes across, convinced that each person she kills will take her one step closer to the leader of the flesh market operations, the man responsible for the death of her parents.




It is only downhill from here, especially when it comes to the script and story, which often makes no sense, giving the viewer a narrow chance of understanding what’s going on and why. Characters drift in and out of the movie, many are killed before they can make an impact on the film, though most of the time we have no idea who they are anyway. The script also feels very rushed, as no one really says anything of interest, and certainly not much to help us understand the story being told. There are also some horrible, cringe-inducing one liners to round off the terrible script, which isn’t exactly delivered with conviction. The acting here is mediocre at best, save for Samuel L. Jackson.

This is a movie that feels like it throws away potential. The addict angle could have been further explored, the same applies for the child trafficking, while the compromised security forces could also have been elaborated on. Rather, this movie muddies the waters by using all three of these notions and mashing them together, resulting in a messy movie that seems aimless and confused as to what it wants to say.


2 and a Half Pops


With special thanks to Anchor Bay Entertainment now Defiant Screen Entertainment to win one of the 2X DVDs of KITE you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite graphic novel (or comic) adaptation movie and why? So many to choose from – I would go with either THE DARK KNIGHT or AKIRA or KICK-ASS. All very very cool films. 

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent on or after August 15th! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.



Kernel Jordan is a professional obsessionist, ‘writer’ of the truth and untruth, movie-review enthusiast, drummer, epileptic and bi-polar alien from a place far away….. He can also be stalked at his own site HERE.


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