…was phenomenal and easily one of the best chambara films (sword fighting or samurai movies) I have ever seen. Granted, the film moves sluggishly at the beginning, and not all of the 13 protagonists get to shine as much as the leads. Well the latter was expected, nonetheless, given that the running time clocks in at less than 2 hours.
Somewhat surprised actually that one of my favorite Japanese actors, in the movie, nabs a lot of screen time. I know, prior to watching, that he’s in this movie, but I wasn’t aware that he plays a seemingly lead role. I honestly thought he was just one of those random ronins that got recruited to join the fray. Then again; he is pretty popular for starring in a dozen of those slice of life-y stories, in both TV and film, over the last 5-6 years. So it’s probably a teeny bit expected then.
But, oh my God, the final battle at the end was undeniably entertaining and just simply… astounding. It was worth the wait and truly an epic and climatic finale, which by the way lasts for 45 minutes. Funny that I’ve said something similar as well last week… Trust me, this film is easily miles ahead and you can not even compare the two. Nope nope.
And talk about a very fucked up villain this film prominently has. The dude was cold, unsympathetic and just plain sadistic. He reminded me of Schindler’s List’s Amon Goeth (you know, the very evil man portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in the movie) to some extent, even though the performance wasn’t exactly on the same caliber.
Truly an amazing Japanese film and everyone should at least watch it. Especially if you love Kurosawa films, samurai movies or, heck, even anime.