Posts Tagged ‘“Blade of the Immortal”’

Takuya Kimura

“BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL” My rating: C+ (Opens Nov. 3 at the Screenland Tapcade)

140 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Beautifully mounted and crammed with enough head-spinning violence to lure moviegoers not already familiar with its manga origins, “Blade of the Immortal” is a samurai epic with edge.

Not only does Takashi Miike’s film (incredibly, his 61st feature in 13 years) mix the expected swordplay with a sort of mutated vampire tale, but its look blends feudal Japan with a punk sensibility — bizarre weapons, hairdos, tattoos and costuming (primitive sunglasses).

Not to  mention dialogue you’ll never hear in an Akira Kurosawa film: “Blow it out your ass!”

That said, it’s still a samurai movie, a genre we’ve see so many times that it takes something really special to grab the attention of jaded viewers.  “Blood of the Immortal” comes closer than most.

The premise finds a rogue samurai teaming up with a pre-pubescent girl (it’s like “Leon” with lots of sharp objects).

Manji (Takuya Kimura) is a wanted man after unwittingly engaging in a conspiracy against the current shogun. In the film’s opening scene he singlehandedly dispatches about a hundred soldiers who have been sent to kill him.

His face slashed, a hand severed and an eye gouged out, he’s dying when a mysterious crone appears to weave a magic spell. She inserts into his wounds “blood worms” which ensure immortality. Manji quickly heals, his hand reattaches, and like one of Bram Stoker’s undead he’s left to wander the earth in solitude, doomed to outlive anyone he cares about.

Fifty years later the never-aging Manji runs afoul of a renegade band of samurai — the Itto-ryu — who are bent on imposing their particular brand of martial arts on all of Japan.  Under their charismatic leader, Anotsu (Sota Fukushi), they are destroying the dojos of all competing fighting schools. (more…)

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