Monday, December 4, 2017

Blade of the Immortal

Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Blade of the Immortal is bloody affair from director Takashi Miike. The story centers around the cursed samurai Manji (Takuya Kimura) who cannot die. Approached by a young girl (Hana Sugisaki) who reminds the samurai of his lost sister, our hero reluctantly agrees to help her get vengeance on the swordsmen who killed her father and their leader Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi).

In terms of action and body count, the movie doesn't disappoint. However, adapting two books from the series into a single film proves to be a bit awkward at times. There's a completely unnecessary subplot of a group of mercenaries killing off the same samurai as our hero which only bloats the film's already considerable running time. Also troubling is the script's inability to decide how great a swordsman our protagonist truly is. In the opening and closing scenes our hero is unstoppable, taking down an insane number of enemies. However, in pretty much every scene in-between, in one-on-one combat with Anotsu's lieutenants, his skill is highly questionable. The result is an interesting, if uneven, action film.

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