Half a century ago, a Japanese family summoned a demon known as Kodeni to dispose of its adversaries. Once the killing was done, the family was cursed. Now, Tokyo Police Inspector Fujiwara ... See full summary »
Tour organizer, Richard Dacier, bites off more than he can chew when he loses at poker to the South African mob. Coming face to face with Africa's cruellest Godfather, Mr. Charles, he is ... See full summary »
Eric and Ramzy are working as window washers at the Montparnasse skyscraper in Paris. Thinking that he has a date set up with beautiful executive Marie-Joelle (who in reality hates his guts... See full summary »
The 'philosopher' (modernist intellectual of the French 18th-century Enlightenment) Denis Diderot is part of an aristocratic circle which practices the libertarian principles on the rural ... See full summary »
The main hero of the film is an electrician with a far greater effect on the people around him than his job defines. He is the last link in a huge energetic system and he becomes the ... See full summary »
When he receives a call from Bornsville sheriff, telling him Pamela Rose' coffin has been stolen, agent Douglas Riper sees a good occasion to meet again with his former partner Richard ... See full summary »
A musical drawing room farce set in Paris in October, 1925. Gilberte, in middle-age, flirts with men but loves her husband Georges, wishing he were more demonstrative. He's negotiating a ... See full summary »
Based on the fact-based novel by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal based on his 1962 prosecution of the head of a Polish factory whom he learns was a murderous labor camp commandant. To be able ... See full summary »
Angèle, a beautiful young woman with a past, arrives in a small fishing harbor in Normandy. She meets Tony, a professional fisherman, who finds himself attracted to her although he dislikes... See full summary »
Half a century ago, a Japanese family summoned a demon known as Kodeni to dispose of its adversaries. Once the killing was done, the family was cursed. Now, Tokyo Police Inspector Fujiwara is investigating the murder of a video game designer. The investigation leads him to a frightening discovery - the same lethal demon is about to be reborn. Fujiwara must travel to Paris and kill this unborn child who is the reincarnation of Kodeni and who threatens to destroy the world. Written by
Not the worst movie ever made -- that might be Gigli, or perhaps Battlefield Earth. Along with the negative aspects, widely commented on above, Samourais has some interesting positives.
First, there's Kurata. He did his most notable work 35 years ago (!), but he still looks good and can handle the fight sequences with skill and grace. The best is his solo duel in the airport restroom. For some reasons, despite his character's supposed fame, skill, and ancestry, the demon's henchmen send a junior thug with a sword to meet him -- yeah sure, no problem walking through an airport with that! He meets the sword attacks by pulling out a pair of tonfa, just like in "Kung Fu: the Invisible Fist" (his best early work, rentable from Netflix), and beating the stuffings out of the guy.
Second, there are the production values. Good photography, good editing, some handsome locations shots by the second unit in Japan. There are no huge explosions or car chases. Special effects are limited and appropriate to the, uh, story.
Third, (I may be alone in thinking this), there is the integration of the fighting sequences with the, uh, story. Cheaply made Hong Kong chopsocky flics are pretty much just a series of fights -- one against many, or one against one to no ultimate purpose. In Samourais, the attacks of the demon's crew are more or less directed to a plot-directed purpose.
Finally, there's a modest attempt by the fight choreographers to inject a little realism. When the Commissioner's daughter is attacked early in the film, she does the usual Supergirl kicks and blows, but then she uses her bicycle chain as a weapon, and draws (fake) blood with it. Looked real. Likewise, in the opener, where we see the demon's first rebirth back in feudal Japan times, the titular Samurai fights off a gang of thugs, but instead of vaguely waving his sword in the direction of his attackers, like Zatoichi or Sanjuro do, you could actually believe that the Samurai was trying to do these guys some damage.
On the negative side, there's a lot of stupid dialog and bad acting, including Kurata's. His acting in the early 1970's was pretty much restricted to looking bored between fights, and pouring a lot of emotion into the action scenes. In Samourais, the emotional content is gone, and he usually looks world-weary rather than bored. No matter how good Kurata looks as a man of 56 (when Samourais was made), he's still sleep-walking through the role.
The worst feature of the film, often mentioned in other comments, is the sidekick character. If you liked Jar-Jar Binks, you'll love Nadir, who unfortunately survives through the end of the picture. It won't hurt to fast-forward through all of the scenes where Mako, the junior lead kid, appears with him.
Bottom line: the story seems intended to insult the intelligence of everyone over the age of 12, but the overall production is good enough to make renting it justifiable. Or you might do as I did, and tape it when it shows up on the Spike cable network again.
BTW, the scenes shot in France don't show the Paris you may remember as a tourist. It's the Seine Saint-Denis arrondissement, France's version of the old East Bronx housing project vertical slums.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?