Nearing the village of his sensei, Zatoichi decides to pay the teacher a visit, only to learn that he has been murdered and his daughter forced into prostitution. Ichi's investigation into ... See full summary »
Blind Zatoichi makes his living by gambling and giving massages. But behind his humble facade, Zatoichi is a master swordsman, gifted with lightning-fast draw and strokes of breathtaking precision. Zatoichi wanders into a town run by sinister gangs and a powerful samurai. He's destined for violent showdowns when he stumbles on two beautiful geishas avenging their parents' murder... Duels, wit and a touch of zen! Cult anti-hero Zatoichi is back in a sword-fighting adventure written, directed and starring Takeshi Kitano. Written by
"Zatô" was the lowest of the four official ranks (kan'i) within the Tôdô-za - the Kyôto-based guild for the blind established early in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573), and abolished in 1871 (the fourth year of the Meiji Restoration). The three other ranks, in ascending order, were "kôtô", "bettô", and "kengyô" - as in Agent Shiranui (1960). See more »
What a fantastic return to form for Japanese director and creative renaissance man, Takeshi Kitano. Zatoichi excels because of its break with conventions, mixing humour, dance, slapstick, and theatre with an otherwise tense and violent plot. This film breaks the art-house tradition by going for the jugular with its entertainment value, yet it never stoops to the level of Hollywood triteness. Some may complain about how this Zatoichi isn't consistent with the original Zatoichi, but that was done by design. Kitano set out to create his own story, his own character, and his own version - simply using the legend of Zatoichi as the most basic blueprint from which to start. He deserves credit for creating something new and innovative, even when working with an old story. The dance scene at the end is phenomenal and very directly (and intentionally) reminds movie goers that you are there to be entertained. The best film I've seen this year and among Kitano's best, and that's saying a lot.
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