A historical television series that focuses on the impact of the Underground Railroad during the 19th century, "Underground" offers viewers a message of social progress that's just as relevant in 2017.
After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »
Zatoichi comes upon the town of Tonda, overrun by gangsters. Using one of his favorite techniques, Zatoichi proceeds to win 8 ryo in a rigged gambling game. Of course, the local gangsters attempt to kill him, and the adventure begins. It turns out a blacksmith named Senzo examines Zatoichi's cane sword, and discovers it to be forged by his old mentor. Senzo discovers the sword is at the end of its usefulness and will break when it is used next.... Written by
Matt Hartley (int1)
This is the third time Tatsuo Endo played an antagonistic Yakuza boss in a Zatoichi movie (see above). The next movie after this, Zatoichi the Outlaw (1967), he again played another Yakuza boss. See more »
Director Kimiyoshi Yasuda's Zatoichi films are so far my least favorite of the bunch, and this one, while not plain bad like Zatoichi on the Road, is fairly underwhelming and didn't really leave an impact on me.
Zatoichi's Cane Sword is unusually talky for a Zatoichi film and the majority of it is just a long slow burn. It really takes a while for things to get going, and the plot isn't really the most interesting one too. Some aspects of the story were unclear to me, and there was some filler material. I don't know what's the point of the gambler character who appears several times (most notably in the final scene), and the appearance of singer Kiyoko Suizenji (who's here just to sing her popular song "Ippon dokko no uta") seems lazily shoehorned without much effort to weave her into the plot more fluidly.
There are some interesting moments in the film, most notably the final fight scene and the dice throw in the final scene which assumes Zatoichi is a bloody wizard, but aside from those, there isn't much to recommend here.
Highlight of the film would, once again, be the climactic fight scene taking place on the streets of the snowy town. Zatoichi's enemies are getting more and more creative - they use everything on him; barrels, even carpets!
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