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Overacting and uninteresting lead ruin an otherwise good action film
He grunts. He screams. Then he screams again.
Kento Yamazaki overacts and over emotes in every scene, specially in the first half. To show grief, anger, surprise or any other emotion, he has only one register: He screams loudly. And he grimaces. He hams it up. He acts unintelligent but determined, a gritty stubborn brainless dolt. His dialogue is also childish, culminating with the cliched speech about the power of dreams during his last major fight scene. Would you ramble on about the power of dreams when fighting a mortal adversary?
He fast becomes very annoying. And since he's the central character, he ruins the movie for me.
It is too bad, because there is a lot to like in this movie. Great fight scenes, great choreography, impressive settings, hundreds of soldiers, interesting adversaries with original looks and fighting techniques. Some very good second role actors, specially Masami Nagasawa and Takao Osawa. The director, Shinsuke Sato, has become know for his manga adaptations, and this movie is a specially faithful adaptation of the first part of Yasuhisa Hara's manga. If it wasn't for the poor dialogue and overacting, this would be a very fun Wuxia movie.
Because of these fun elements, I hesitated a lot before knocking my rating down . Then came the last scenes, glorifying the forceful unification of China (in this age of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Yughur troubles). These scenes were completely unnecessary, and probably placed in the movie to support a larger Box Office performance in China.
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