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.
Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?
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 seemingly altruistic boss is actually laying the groundwork for a ruthless money-grabbing scheme. The sixteenth Zatoichi film is the first from its star's own Katsu Productions, and is one of the series' most daring.Written by
The whole series is impressive. Yet this is way lower in quality. As another reviewer compared it with the Tarantino junk, well, for those there isn't any drop in quality.
I'd say it's impressive to keep such a long series till the first movie of a lesser value. This is the first one with a complicated to shady story line and at this point they try (why?) to experiment with a different kind of cinematography. And while the dynamic scenes are a bit weird, things like the beheading are way out of their league... It's more inexplicable as the series so far was good enough skipping gore and close-ups.
Also, there is no need to relate this series with Kurosawa. Kurosawa, a samurai descendant, made movies about the life and honor of the important people. People who went for the art and not for the craft. Zatoichi is made by actor descendants (quite at the opposite side of the social scale) and it's about life and death and less about the craft. One is telling the stories from above the peasant class, in a contemplative manner and the other is telling them from the back streets somehow looking up to the stability of the peasant life.
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