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Top Customer Reviews
By S. P. Maxwell on 3 Aug. 2005
This film is a remake of what was supposedly the first samurai film ever made (the original was made in 1928), and this could account for its somewhat old fashioned feel. Despite being made in 1990, if I hadn't known in advance I would have assumed it was a film from the sixties at the latest. It is a bit slow, but anyone who has watched a few samurai films will know that they are not always the action fests they are cracked up to be. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. This film, like many in its genre, concentrates on the development of several important characters, in this case mainly ronin, or masterless samurai, who are trying to scrabble a living in the era following the Meiji restoration , which saw samurai reduced in status and often forced to abandon their way of life. One of these ronin is played by Shintaro Katsu, much loved star of the original Zatoichi films. It was his last role, but he has lost none of his talent and puts in a great performance as a man who has sunk as low as he can go, but is strangely happy eking out his life as the ineffectual bodyguard of a brothel. The film is anecdotal in structure, and while this can be a little frustrating for those of us who like to feel the progression of a plot, it does lead to some nice scenes, such as one in which Katsu's character eats some noodles and is blown away by the taste, causing the noodle vendor to be so happy that he refuses to accept money for the food! The main plot concerns the murder of prostitutes from the afore-mentioned brothel by the local samurai. This eventually comes to a head in an incredibly long and very cool fight sequence at the end.Read more ›
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