When they call it The Tale of Zatoichi Continues...they mean it. While this sequel starts off in one direction, by half way through its very short play time (only an hour and twelve minutes) it takes a wicked awesome turn by becoming a very direct sequel to the original one - with returning characters and an awesome twist that added the emotional punch it needed to match the first film.
In fact, I only have two real qualms with the…
A much more subtle and drawn out film than I expected, The Tale of Zatoichi is a phenomenally written and executed samurai film. The titular character is played with remarkable depth and charisma and the fairly simplistic plot line allows for the characters to really dig into the viewer. By the time the big match up comes at the end, you are heartbroken to see it happen. Brilliant.
For a film that's well over 2 hours long, filled with a dozen characters, and has almost no effective resolution - Zodiac is phenomenal. Only Fincher could pull a film like this off. It's brilliantly paced, acted, and detail directed to make the mystery feel visceral and fresh. Love this film.
There is almost a brilliance behind Dragonwolf. Despite some of the most atrocious acting, ridiculous plot devices (yes, a Shaman appears in this film), and horrific pacing, Dragonwolf some how thinks that everything works perfectly. It's played with such seriousness and dramatic elements that throughout the whole film I felt like I was supposed to be in on some joke. Truthfully, it's only saving grace is some decent fight choreography and the unintentional hilariousness that follows.
Say what you will, but I was laughing the entire film.