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The Sword of Bushido (1990)

Richard Norton plays a Bushido-trained ex-Navy SEAL named Connors (he was in 'Nam) who ends up in the far east after investigating the whereabouts of an ancient Japanese ceremonial sword. ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Zac Connors
Toshishiro Obata ...
Judy Green ...
Mirren Lee ...
Glenn Ruehland ...
Lt. Bradley Connors / Yamaguchi Thug (as Glen Reuhland)
Somboon Phutaroth ...
Suay's Mother (as Somboon Putaroj)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guy Norris ...
Yamaguchi Thug


Richard Norton plays a Bushido-trained ex-Navy SEAL named Connors (he was in 'Nam) who ends up in the far east after investigating the whereabouts of an ancient Japanese ceremonial sword. Connors is left wondering whether the trip was such a good idea when Japanese gangsters start hassling him and his team of guerrilla fighters. Written by IvanWong

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Release Date:

7 June 1990 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bushido - Codice d'onore  »

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User Reviews

"I...I feel so empty inside"
6 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Richard Norton has never had a great solo feature. That's a subjective statement, but I think it's fair, given that nobody seems to mention his starring vehicles among the great moments of his career. THE SWORD OF BUSHIDO had potential to be one of those moments, but loses it thanks to some stupid writing and a shortage of martial arts action. It may belong on the wish lists of collectors, but I don't know who else would be interested.

The story: An ex-Navy SEAL (Norton) searching for his grandfather's remains in Thailand is caught up in a fight for a historical Japanese sword stolen decades ago.

A film production can do a lot worse than director Adrian Carr, who has an eye for cinematography and does a lot with this one's rural and jungle settings. Leading man Norton is in great shape and looks every bit the star that Van Damme ever did, but disappointingly, his character is far from endearing. The movie's writer was on a machismo kick and crafted a story so blatantly worshipful of the white male hero that it's embarrassing. This is best illustrated thru the presentation of his costar Rochelle Ashana, who enters her role as an action star but devolves into a helpless love interest over the course of various tragedies. Norton's character comes across as lecherous and opportunistic in his romantic pursuits, and there's a tasteless moment wherein the script jokes about sexual harassment when that's exactly what its star is doing. Ugh.

The action content doesn't make up for much of this. Richard's one of those folks who must actively try before they make a bad fight scenes, but the four ones here merely hover around the "average" rank. The best of these is a decent swordfight with Toshihiro Obata, who shows up in the film's second half to grab the vacant role of the main villain. The rest of the adrenaline scenes – mainly shootouts – are likewise nothing special, but we get a little boost in the form of an absurd chase scene wherein Richard tails a car in a go-cart.

For my money, the best Richard Norton vehicle available now is UNDER THE GUN from 1995 – by when Richard's filmmakers had refined his style of fight scene and developed a better idea of what makes a strong character. A fan could do a lot worse than THE SWORD OF BUSHIDO, but also much better. Leave this one 'til you're really hurting for karate flicks.

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