So little of the Japanese popular cinema reaches Britain that it's been hard to judge whether the movies are as fanatically Americanised as most of the other Japanese mass media. Here is Exhibit A for the Prosecution: a Western-style swashbuckling fantasy which the dubbers have been able to turn into a Sinbad story without missing a beat. Although it's by no means rank, it remains the kind of film that gives a 'formula' a bad name. All the ingredients are there, including decent, if limited, special effects, but the emphases are curiously misjudged: there's too much plot, Mifune's presence goes for nothing, the comedy is hopelessly non-integrated, and the Gothicisms are too perfunctory. But the saddest thing is the bland rejection of the entire Oriental fantasy tradition.
Cast and crew
Takeshi Kimura, Shinichi Sekizawa