Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of ... See full summary »
Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's ... See full summary »
After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
I don't understand what "The Last" stands for in this movie's title. Maybe its predicting that this is the very last Zatoichi movie that will be made ? Who knows, but it's unlikely that this would be the last time popular character of Zatoichi will ever appear on screen.
Shingo Katori's version of Ichi lacks the creepiness of Shintaro Katsu, and Takeshi Kitano's version, but has much more modern looks and feel to it. Consequently, he appears too nice, and couldn't infuse enough menacing character to the role. The fault in my opinion is not with Katori, but the casting director who've cast Katori for this role. Katori is a good actor, but his strength is in more modern roles, or if he was 10 years older, he would have looked more the part.
The story wasn't so intriguing either. It didn't have to be a Zatoichi's movie to tell this story. The grittiness of the original is missing, and lacks the feeling of the downtrodden in the society. The transformance from the downtrodden to the super swordsman of usual Zatoichi movie is also lacking. What's too many of in this movie is senseless thrashing of people by the bad guys..
So while acceptable, the movie turned out to be mediocre in many ways, and can only be recommended for viewing by a die hard Zatoichi fans.
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