5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Nice film, shame about the CGI.,
This review is from: Zatoichi  [DVD] (DVD)
"Beat" Takeshi, is best known for his violent, and sometimes darkly comic gangster films. So Zatoichi may seem a surprising choice for him. Here the "Beat" plays a blind masseur who just happens to be nothing short of an artist with a samurai sword.
What sets this film apart from other Takeshi films (apart from the fact that it is a period piece) is his approach to the project. There are none of his famous long, lingering shots, here opting for much more camera setups and cuts than in his previous films and utilising dolly shots, crane shots and even some CGI. Which is where the film loses points. I'm not a big fan of CGI and I can see no need for such extravagences in a film such as this, especially when the effects are less than convincing.
But Takeshi gives another good performance, the action scenes are very well staged and utterly convincing (except for the dodgy CGI) and the film still wins me over. Watch out for a great nod to Kurosawa as Takeshi dispatches several samurai under a rain drenched blue sky. Not one of Takeshi's best but a welcome addition to his collection. It did win the Venice film festival as well as dozens of others across the world so he must be doing something right.