6.4/10
752
21 user 21 critic

Gojo reisenki: Gojoe (2000)

Gojo reisenki: Gojoe Poster
Trailer
1:09 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

(as Sogo Ishii)

Writers:

(as Sogo Ishii),
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

1 video »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy gets jolted with electricity as he's climbing a tall cable pylon. As he gets older, he experiences intense fits of violence in which bolts of electricity burt from his fists. ... See full summary »

Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Yoshiki Arizono, Tadanobu Asano, Masakatsu Funaki
Angel Dust (1994)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Every Monday at 6 pm a young woman is murdered in the subway. The psychiatrist Setsuko Suma is called in to assist the police. The trail leads to another psychiatrist - Dr Rei Aku - who ... See full summary »

Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Kaho Minami, Takeshi Wakamatsu, Etsushi Toyokawa
Action | Music | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Michirô Endô, Shigeru Izumiya, Takanori Jinnai
Bright Future (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Reiji Kikukawa, who has a strong sense of justice, graduated from the police academy with the lowest score ever. He becomes a police constable, but is suddenly fired by the Police Chief due... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Tôma Ikuta, Ken'ichi Endô, Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Takemura has no friends and no family. He's a student but he doesn't have any particular ambitions. In other words, he isn't going anywhere fast. Were all this not enough, the sorry sad ... See full summary »

Director: Satoshi Miki
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tomokazu Miura, Kyôko Koizumi
Fish Story (2009)
Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the year 2012 a comet approaches earth, threatening to end civilization when it impacts. On the streets of Japan, a single music store remains open, its proprietor insisting to his ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Stars: Vincent Giry, Gaku Hamada, Atsushi Itô
Dead End Run (2003)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dead End Run is de eerste film van Ishii sinds het overweldigende Electric Dragon 80.000 V (vertoond op het festival in 2001), waar sommige argelozen nog altijd met verbaasde oren aan ... See full summary »

Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Urara Awata, Mikako Ichikawa
Yume no ginga (1997)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tomiko is a conductor in a rural bus driven by the handsome Niitaka. Tomiko had received a letter from her best friend Tsuyako, a conductor in another bus company, just after Tsuyako was ... See full summary »

Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Rena Komine, Tadanobu Asano, Kotomi Kyôno
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Tatsuo Yamada, Masamitsu Ohike, Koji Nanjo
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A teenage girl gains supernatural power after an accident and comes to understand her place in the universe.

Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Rena Komine, Shinsuke Aoki, Reiko Matsuo
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Eri Aoki, Kôta Fudauchi, Keisuke Hasebe
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Masatoshi Nagase ...
Daisuke Ryû ...
Benkei
Masakatsu Funaki ...
Tankai
...
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
Yoshiyuki Morishita ...
Shirakawa gang member
Yôji Tanaka
Edit

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

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 2001 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Tankai: A monk bearing a sword? You're a joke!
Benkei: And you are ignorant... but I don't have time to enlighten you.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Vibrant and violent samurai action film from the underrated Sogo Ishii
1 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Gojoe (2000) is a typically vibrant and vivid piece of film-making from Japanese firebrand Sogo Ishii, who remains perhaps one of the most radical and underrated Japanese filmmakers of the last twenty-five years. Ishii began his directing career in the late 1970's when he was still a student at the Nihon University, and his work of that particular period with films like Panic High School (1978), Crazy Thunder Road (1980) and Burst City (1982) reflected an interest in performance art and his involvement in the Tokyo punk scene. Though later films like Angel Dust (1994) and Labyrinth of Dreams (1997) saw a greater sense of maturity and more clearly defined emphasis on character and atmosphere, he remained a consistent and interesting talent with a truly original vision.

Gojoe returns somewhat to the style of Ishii's earlier, bold and energetic work; combing grand spectacle with clearly defined storytelling with roots in actual Japanese folklore. However, the way in which the narrative unfolds is really quite interesting, with the story beginning with a scene of murder and the notion that the killing could have been supernatural as opposed to political; with Ishii's subtle use of cinematography, editing and sound design creating a staggering sense of tension from the very first frame. Added to this, there are definitely shades of Masaki Kobayashi's classic anthology-film Kwaidan (1964) and Kaneto Shindō's masterpiece Onibaba (1964) being developed here, with that great atmosphere of supernatural intrigue, murder, violence and dread being continually juxtaposed against an expressionistic period setting, which seems somewhat nightmarish and vaguely ethereal. The violence of Gojoe is occasionally fairly explicit and definitely over-the-top, but there is a distinct balletic grace to the way in which Ishii captures the action; creating something that falls halfway between the over-the-top fountains of gore seen in the majority of Japanese Anime (or the more extreme films of Takashi Miike), with something that is perhaps closer to the heavily choreographed kabuki theatre or interpretive dance.

As the story progresses the supernatural elements give way to political intrigue and elements of actual historical fact, but the whole arc of this notion seems designed to add some sense to the story of warring rivals, as opposed to giving us a full-blown history lesson. Dialog is sparse and character development tends to emerge slowly from the quiet scenes of silent brooding and the more sombre moments that stress a philosophical aspect to the boundless scenes of violence and swordplay. Though ultimately the plot is slight and simplified to the point of near abstraction, the film manages to keep us motivated through the continual combination of Ishii's imaginative direction and the fine performances of lead actors Daisuke Ryu who portrays the warrior monk Benkei, and the always surprising Tadanobu Asano as the mysterious and deadly Shanao.

As an actor, Ryu is probably most familiar from Akira Kurosawa's historical masterpieces Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985), as well as Takashi Miike's more recent remake of Graveyard of Honour (2002), while Asano has worked with a number of highly esteemed Japanese filmmakers, including Shinya Tsukamoto on Gemini (1999) and Vital (2004), Nagisa Oshima on Taboo (1998), Takeshi Kitano on Zatoichi (2003), the aforementioned Miike on Ichi the Killer (2001) and Sogo Ishii again on subsequent films Electric Dragon 80, 000 V (2001) and Dead End Run (2004). Though essentially playing antagonists, the two actors complement each other exceedingly well, creating bold characters that manage to instil a sense of purpose and authority from a film that tends to rely heavily on action and excess. In terms of martial arts, swordplay and a greatly choreographed sense of movement, the film has certain similarities to director Zhang Yimou's trilogy of historical set martial arts films, Hero (2002), The House of Flying Daggers (2004) and The Curse of the Golden Flower (2006), with Gojoe's reliance on historical content, culture and subtle shades of politics probably stressing a similarity with Hero in particular.

Certainly, I wouldn't go as far as to call Gojoe a masterpiece. It has its flaws, most of which are in the plotting, the heavy reliance on historical context, the awareness of the Japanese folklore that inspired it, and the over abundance of lengthy fight sequences, but still; this something that is definitely worth checking out. Ishii's direction is filled with an eerie sense of atmosphere, energy and imagination, masking the limitation of the budget until a few sadly fake looking FX shots towards the end, and offering us some of the most vibrant and violent scenes of action and combat you're ever likely to see.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Benkei Rocks! zjango
many questions! curtis_bryant
Discuss Gojo reisenki: Gojoe (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?