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Gojo reisenki: Gojoe (2000)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 752 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 21 critic

Benkei, a master fighter and killer, vows never to take another life after his conversion to Buddhism. His faith in pacifism, however, is shaken and ultimately broken by the attacks from a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Masatoshi Nagase ...
Daisuke Ryû ...
Benkei
Masakatsu Funaki ...
Tankai
Jun Kunimura ...
Suzaku-hougan
Urara Awata ...
Asagiri
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wui-Sin Chong ...
Shoshinbo
Takato Hosoyamada
...
Kamuro
Ittoku Kishibe
Dave Mallow ...
Tankai (voice)
Naruki Matsukawa
Yôji Tanaka
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Storyline

Benkei, a master fighter and killer, vows never to take another life after his conversion to Buddhism. His faith in pacifism, however, is shaken and ultimately broken by the attacks from a trio of fighters known only as "the demons". Taking up his sword once more, he sets out to end their murderous terror. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | History

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Details

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Release Date:

7 October 2001 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some elements of the musical score were create with scrap metal. See more »

Quotes

[the opening]
Narrator: With the deterioration of the aristocracy and the rise of the warrior class began a brutal era. Long wars between the Heike and Genji ended with the Heike ruling the land. The people hoped for a lasting peace, but found only pestilence and disaster. And when began the nightly slaughter of Heike warriors at Kyoto's Gojoe Bridge... there rose the fear that the capital's festering misfortune had awoken a demon.
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User Reviews

 
Excellent cinematography, uninvolving story
17 July 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This story is set in 12th century Japan and shows the fight of a non-violent monk against a demon protector of the Gojoe bridge. As far as story goes, this one is not very interesting. At no point in the movie do you actually care what will happen next. The pace is slow, which is successful at times, but feel overly drawn out for the majority of the picture.

The fighting scenes are not very well choreographed and are truly long and boring with the exception of the finale one. The effortlessness in which the demon slays its victims should have been shown with a few well placed kill instead of a continuous uninteresting, placid bloodbath. It is said that the demon wants to kill a thousand souls, and the director seemingly tried to show us at least a few hundred kills. I think this was a mistake.

As much as the story fails to convey anything substantial, the cinematographic work of Makoto Watanabe is some of the best footage I have seen in a while, who exploits some interesting visual technics and has an amazing grasp of the power of colors. It also serves to create some distinct moods that can be relatively suggestive and involving. In particular, I am thinking here of a scene in which Benkei finds a poor soul on a beach who wants to set himself ablaze. Numerous innovative compositions were also well used by director Sogo Ishii who seems to be given his cinematographer some creative leeway. Unfortunately, the director cannot direct the rest of this mediocre story to anything substantial. The real star here is Watanabe who proves to be an ingenious director of photography and explores the art more than your average DOP. If you like artistic cinematography, I suggest you endure the tedious story (put mute if you want) and enjoy some excellent footage.


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