The No. 3 assassin of Japan is given the chance to usurp No. 1 and take their place.The No. 3 assassin of Japan is given the chance to usurp No. 1 and take their place.The No. 3 assassin of Japan is given the chance to usurp No. 1 and take their place.
Taken as a film in isolation, judging it on its own merits, this film fails. Fails interestingly, but fails.
The acting is appalling. The script is pretentious gobbledegook. There are parts of the film when it seems like even the director is sleepwalking. The sets and props are clearly badly made. The actors aren't very good or even interesting looking. The soundtrack is bad. Your friends will think you're a paedophile.
BUT... There are incredible moments in this film. Jaw dropping changes of colour. Symbolic actions. Bizarre perspectives. A new way of looking at everyday items and interactions. Some moments that recall the old thrill of watching the original "Branded to Kill".
The sheer ambition of certain moments is heartening. You think of things like German Expressionism and pop art and say "wow". It's tantalising.
This is a film interesting for those people who've followed Suzuki's career and want to see his next experiment in non-realist cinema and storytelling. Unfortunately that's the only level on which this film works.
- Nov 3, 2006