Blade Of The Immortal

Film, Action and adventure
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Blade Of The Immortal

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The body count soars off the charts in Takashi Miike's latest samurai epic.

Prolific Japanese gore king Takashi Miike celebrates his hundredth directorial effort with a samurai epic so wince-inducingly violent, you practically need anaesthetic just to watch it. Hacking, stabbing, slashing, chopping: it’s all here in a display of stylishly executed butchery that pays bloody fealty to Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and the other masters of Japanese swordplay. But it also has that distinctive slash of mordant wit and gonzo flair that’s all Miike’s own.

The ‘immortal’ in question is Manji (Takuya Kimura, channelling Toshiro Mifune), a shogun’s bannerman on the run after killing his master. Left dying following an encounter with bounty hunters, he’s dosed with sacred bloodworms by an old nun. If you don’t know what sacred bloodworms are, think of them as the ultimate Miike cheat code. From here on, his battered hero can defy the basics of human physiology to prevail in each and every violent encounter. And there are plenty. With Manji teaming up with a vengeance-craving girl, Rin (Hana Sugisaki), to track down the bandits who killed her parents, combat is unleashed in wooded glades, broken-down villages and, hauntingly, amid falling leaves.

The story isn’t wildly original – think ‘Leon’ with throwing stars – and it’s overlong, but the action is unrelenting, thrillingly staged and occasionally even flat-out hilarious. One of the few directors who can play a multi-sword evisceration for laughs, Miike has served up another frenetic joy.  

Details

Release details

Rated:
18
Release date:
Friday December 8 2017
Duration:
140 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Takashi Miike
Screenwriter:
Tetsuya Oishi
Cast:
Takuya Kimura
Hana Sugisaki

Users say (1)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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2 people listening

As always with a Takashi Mike film, it's worth seeing. If there's any doubt (in its quality) then that lies in the forced casting of J-Pop stars in Japanese films to get (as Mike suggests) 'bums on seats'. This is a bloodthirsty (& lengthy) event indeed. Not in the same league as 13 Assassins, Audition, Hara-Kiri etc, but nonetheless it's a Takashi Mike experience.