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.
Ichi seeks out on a pilgrimage to 81 temples, exploring spirituality to atone for his bloody past. On the way, Ichi stumbles into a village that's being bullied by a violent Yakuza boss and... See full summary »
Blind masseur Zatoichi is nursed back to health by a young woman after he is shot by a gang member. Zatoichi, who had come to the village to repay a debt, now feels further indebted. He commits himself to use his amazing sword skills to help the young woman's father, whose river-crossing service is under attack by the same gang responsible for Zatoichi's wounds. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
[after trapping Yakuza Boss Yasugoro into a corner]
They say when you stutter like that, you're ready to be killed.
What's the matter? Aren't you going to draw?
[Turns to Boss Yasugoro's men as Yasugoro stutters in fear]
Your boss is trapped in a corner, and none of you have the guts to save him. Yasugoro, you sure know how to pick'em, don't you?
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True, Zatoichi movies follow the same general pattern from one film to the next, and they're uniformly watchable. With Zatôichi abare tako, however, the film-making is on a higher level, with a convincing balance of swordplay, drama, and genuinely amusing moments. Perhaps most satisfying of all, the plot has a few truly disconcerting twists - even from the very beginning, when Zatoichi is nearly killed.
Period details are rendered nicely, as with the primitive ferrying service, and let's not forget the sword tricks; at the very start, Zatoichi, troubled by a few flies and unable to sleep, dispatches the insects in two quick strokes. When we see the culminating "fireworks," it's perfectly integrated into the film.
This film shows enough film-making craft to put it near the top of the Zatoichi canon.
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