HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
Climax, The
Justice League Dark
Night Watchmen, The
Bandh Darwaza
   
 
Newest Articles
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
   
 
  Rurouni Kenshin Back-Blade In MotionBuy this film here.
Year: 2012
Director: Keishi Ohtomo
Stars: Takeru Satô, Emi Takei, Yû Aoi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yôsuke Eguchi, Munetaka Aoki, Taketo Tanaka, Kôji Kikkawa
Genre: Action, Historical, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Bakumatsu war of nineteenth century Japan has now ended, prompting the nation to build on the outcome and modernise itself, leaving the samurai codes and more importantly samurai violence well behind. Or that’s what they hope, most of them at any rate, as there are still elements in the land who would prefer to manipulate the new status quo to their own ends, selfishly preying on the populace. One of the surviving fighters is Kenshin (Takeru Satô), an expert assassin whose forte was to take on large numbers of opponents all at once and defeat them with his expert swordplay, but now his blood drenched past is something he wishes to abandon, so he wanders this revitalised country somewhat lost… until someone wishes to dredge up that past.

Rurouni Kenshin was one of those movies drawn from a comic book which most of the blockbusters released out of Hollywood seemed to be by the twenty-first century, although the Japanese had been taking inspiration from that source with far more enthusiasm for far longer. The lead character wasn’t a superhero, though he may as well have been given his fancy moves with his sword, but he was adapted before this movie into an anime series, which was really where the films based on his adventures were taken from, that’s right, films, as this proved enough of a hit to greenlight a couple more entries in the franchise from writer and director Keishi Ohtomo, which were similarly well-received.

Even by those notoriously hard to please fans of the source, most of them anyway, who appreciated Ohtomo’s way with crafting plotlines that were faithful to the original and its personalities, though were not slavish copies, merely rendering what had been perfectly fine in cartoon form with live action; it had a degree more individual flair than that. The selling point would be the action sequences, and while the fashion around this time was for fast cutting, highly kinetic presentations, this struck a happy medium betwixt past and present styles, thereby showing its cast could indeed perform their fighting moves with somewhere approximating the necessary skill to convince the audience we were in safe hands as far as that went.

But don’t go thinking there was wall to wall combat with very little of anything much in between, for there was a goodly amount of musing over what the place for a man of violence should be in the modern world (OK, it was set in the eighteen-hundreds, but the plot was drawing parallels in an “every story is about the era it’s made, rather than set” sort of way). The crucial thing was that Kenshin had renounced his professional career as an assassin, and though he still carried a sword, it was a “back-blade” which meant the cutting edge was on the other side to the usual manner, meaning if he was prompted into a fight with it, he would not hurt anyone even if he could defend himself. That was important, as that notion of defence would extend to helping others who crossed his path.

Which, one supposes, was the answer to the question what does a man of violence do with his skills when he’s supposedly no longer needed, which was defend people because as the film sadly admits, those skills will never go out of fashion when there remain evildoers who make it their business to exploit and destroy, such as the main villain here, the gangster Kanryuu Takeda (Teruyuki Kagawa). He is trying to get the city hooked on a new strain of opium which can easily turn deadly if he has anything to do with it, and Kenshin is the man to stop him, even if he doesn’t know it yet as he is unexpectedly gathered into the bosom of a surrogate family consisting of Kaoru (Emi Takei), a swordplay student who believes hopelessly in the nobility of the martial art, little Saito (Yôsuke Eguchi) and Takeda’s brains behind the manufacture of the drugs, Megumi (Yû Aoi) who wants to escape his clutches. With figures from Kenshin’s former life making their presence felt, perhaps there was a shade too much stuffed into the narrative, and it was yet another action movie to kidnap its lead female, but it was punchy and thoughtful where it counted. Music by Naoki Satô.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 842 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: