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We begin in 1865, when the Shogunate is on its last legs, but still capable of punishing its enemies. One is Izo (Kazuya Nakayama), an assassin in the service of Hanpeida (Ryosuke Miki), a Tosa lord and Imperial supporter. After killing dozens of the Shogun's men, Izo is captured and crucified. Instead of being extinguished, his rage propels him through the space-time continuum to present-day Tokyo, where he finds himself one with the city's homeless. Here Izo transforms himself into a new, improved killing machine, his entire soul still enraged by his treatment in his past life. His response to the powers-that-be, whose predecessors put him to death, is the sword.Written by
A philosophical journey or the soul or utter clap trap- talk about mileage varying
This review will probably not help anyone and only confuse matters, but its the only way I can explain it.
You will either find this to be a philosophical tour de force or you will find it a load of dingos kidneys. You will either sit in rapt attention of storm off wondering how stupid you were to spend money on it.
Its that sort of a movie and then some.
The film effectively begins as Izo is crucified and speared to death(?) and then for the next two hours he runs around killing people and being or being the subject of "deep" discussions in various times and places. How you react to this film will be your tolerance for blood, gore, pretentious twaddle, real philosophy, deadly seriousness, and knowing silliness.
A cosmic comic blood bath journey of a soul in the afterlife? Who knows? I'm convinced that this is the film that Takashi Miike intended to make and that he is both very serious about what it says and having a laugh at the expense of everyone who sees it. (The problem is he's not giving many clues as to what he's trying to say)
Think of it as Jodorowsky's El Topo combined with his Holy Mountain, then turned into a time traveling samurai flick as filtered through the mind of a genius prankster.
If you love film, especially film that is so off the beaten track as to be in a universe three doors down see this film. If you love the potential for a film of ideas, but with lots of blood thrown in see this film.
If you're looking for a normal linear film with no heavy ideas stay away. (Miles away)
I think its a brilliant, but too long (by half an hour) mind trip. I have no idea what it all means but it was interesting seeing the sites.
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