Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?
With a price on his head, Ichi seeks tranquillity in a favorite village. Since his last visit, it has fallen prey to Boss Masagoro, the son of a merchant rumored to have stolen gold from the shogunate. The boss has hired Yojimbo as his hard-drinking enforcer, but Yojimbo is both a spy for the shogunate, trying to find the gold, and in love with the merchant's unwilling mistress, Umeno. Ichi hires on as the merchant's masseur and buys Umeno's freedom with his employer's own money. This embarrasses Yojimbo who withdraws from a pact with Ichi to stir up trouble between father and son and their gangs. As the two sides fight, Ichi finds the gold and sets up a final set of confrontations. Written by
this may not be the best zatoichi title, hindered by a complicated plot and an unusually long runtime (116 mins), but it's easily an 8/10 compared to other zatoichi films (1989's 'zatoichi' being the worst and a 1 out of 10). if you're a zatoichi fan you are not allowed to miss this one or you're out of the club.
shintaro katsu and toshiro mifune are in excellent form and their presence alone makes it worth seeing. both of them look great. mifune is in his post-kurosawa days, but still in his prime and his face is aged to perfection.
don't expect a kurosawa filmthis series was made as entertainment, not art. of course yojimbo is a better film, but this is every bit as funny and entertaining.
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