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
The blood in the film has been described by many as being "too CGI". Kitano did this intentionally, wanting to "soften the shock to the audience" due to the high body count. Kitano told the CGI artist he wanted the blood to "look like flowers blossoming across the screen." See more »
With tap dancing, mundane superpowers, and an attractive albeit gender-confused cross-dresser, Zatoichi truly offers 'something for everybody'.
This is a strange one, a drama/comedy/action film with absurdist overtones. In Japan, Zatoichi is a cult character who was the subject of 26 feature films between 1963 and 1989. Now director "Beat" Takeshi best known for Hana Bi introduces Zatoichi to a new generation. Takeshi also stars as Zatoichi, the elderly masseur and dice gambler whose hearing is so acute he can detect which side a die has fallen. He's a master swordsman, too one slice and you're diced.
Supporting characters include two beautiful geishas avenging their parents' death, a farmer and her drunkard nephew, the gangsters running the town and a masterless samurai (an impressive performance from Tadanobu Asano).
The Blind Swordsman is great fun, although it could do with a tighter structure. And I was shocked by the spectacular tap-dancing finale in traditional Japanese dress and shoes! ***½/***** stars.
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