Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief... See full summary »


Kazuaki Kiriya


Kazuaki Kiriya (original story), Kazuaki Kiriya (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Yôsuke Eguchi ... Goemon Ishikawa
Takao Osawa ... Saizo Kirigakure
Ryôko Hirosue ... Chacha Asai
Jun Kaname ... Mitsunari Ishida
Gori Gori ... Sasuke Sarutobi
Mikijirô Hira ... Rikyu Sen
Masatô Ibu ... Ieyasu Tokugawa
Tetsuji Tamayama ... Matahachi
Hashinosuke Nakamura Hashinosuke Nakamura ... Nobunaga Oda
Eiji Okuda Eiji Okuda ... Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Hong Man Choi Hong Man Choi ... Gao (as Choi Hong Man)
Susumu Terajima ... Hanzo Hattori
Eriko Satô Eriko Satô ... Courtesan Yoshino
Erika Toda ... Courtesan Yukiri
Mayu Tsuruta Mayu Tsuruta ... Koheita's mother


Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief is murdered and uses his skills as a thief to help the poor. But after learning the identity of his leader's killer - the traitorous Hideyoshi (Eiji Okuda) - Goemon sets out on a bloody path of vengeance, joined by his loyal friend, Saizo (Takao Ôsawa). Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The ultimate sacrifice.


Action | Drama | History


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Lyrics and composed by Yoshiki
Performed by Violet UK
See more »

User Reviews

OK that was surprisingly awesome
16 September 2017 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Like I was, maybe you aren't expecting much more than a flashy fantasy action flick to dazzle a few brain cells for 2 hours. Certainly the DVD cover, the IMDb description, and the first 15-20 minutes of the film fulfills that expectation: we get a lot of action sequences following our hero Goemon, the legendary 16th century Japanese Robin Hood character, as he performs rapid fire feats of martial arts & agility that would make Superman turn in his cape. (Aside: we'll talk about the controversial cgi in a minute, let's focus on story first.)

But what begins as a seemingly predictable comic book tale of good vs evil becomes a much more complex epic saga, as characters' loyalties and motivations change, as secrets are revealed, and as the characters themselves evolve and question their own actions, showing us that this is far more than a mindless good vs. evil tale. I won't ruin who's-who, but I'll say by far my favorite character dynamic is the complex relationship between Goemon and his antagonist Saizo. At first it seems like a straightforward hunt to the death, but buckle your seatbelt because it has a lot of unexpected twists & turns, culminating in an awesome, climactic scene.

Similarly, as the story twists & turns, the it takes on the air of a political thriller where the answers aren't as simple as you'd expected. Don't worry if you're not up to speed on 16th century feudal Japanese politics: the power struggle is frighteningly familiar and applicable today, 500 years later. Of course don't let the political angle scare you off, because it's still rooted in action/fantasy with plenty of eye candy visuals if that's all you want.

Which leads us to the controversial use of cgi... Yes, there's tons of cgi, and yes the film was made in 2009 when cgi wasn't very realistic looking. So you might find yourself distracted by the video game look of the action scenes. But I think the video game look is exactly what the filmmakers were going for. But in this film's defense, it was a bold stylistic choice in league with other heavy-cgi flicks like "Sky Captain" (2004), "Sin City" (2005), or the French flick "Immortal" (2004), which were the first films to depart entirely from traditional location filmmaking techniques in favor of green screen and post production. Here in "Goemon" we have a similar hyper-stylized look that's not necessarily supposed to seem realistic, and that could be a plus or a minus depending on how you like your flicks.

The bottom line is that the story and character development, not the look, is what really impressed me about "Goemon". It raised this seemingly simple action romp to an epic scale. In that respect (not visually) I would compare it to Zhang Yimou's "Hero" (2002) another surprisingly complex story proceeding from the simple premise of an assassin sent to kill a ruthless Emperor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1 May 2009 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Goemon See more »

Filming Locations:

Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed