Ichi

Film
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
This limp femme take on Japan’s popular ‘Zatoichi’ franchise – in which a ruddy-clothed blind woman (Ayase Haruka) wanders the countryside trying to find her old master, but in the meantime dispatches an army of toothless goons with a sword concealed in her walking stick – has precious little to recommend it. With its hokey, flashback-heavy plotting, unadventurous camera use and a clutch of cloyingly earnest performances, it comes across like an irony-free, mid-season episode of ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’, but with added fountains of DayGlo blood. Pathos, excitement and drama are mild at best, and anyone sniffing potential girl-power credentials in the set-up will be saddened to hear it’s the bumbling male cohort that ends up saving the day, with Ichi half slain at the mid-point. If any of this sounds appealing, you might prefer Takeshi Kitano’s superior, tongue-in-cheek ‘Zatoichi’ from 2003.

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