My recent Criterion purchase of Godzilla and the Yojimbo/Sanjuro Box Set has led me to relive these influential Japanese Classics.
Yojimbo is one of the most intelligent "spectacle" films I've ever seen in my life, if not the most intelligent. I don't mean by how smart and well executed the cinematography is, that's to be expected by director Kurosawa's talent. The intelligent direction is pointed towards the masterful execution of both story and characterization, something that would otherwise come out…
Engaging cinematography, entertaining choreography, and captivating set pieces weighed down by an underwhelming story that doesn't quite utilize the characters to their full potential.
The film follows a straight forward structure of Samurai banding together for one final climatic battle against a large scale army, similar to films such as Seven Samurai and 13 Assassins. The major difference (ignoring the fantastical themes) between these films however is how methodically paced they are, allowing for scenes that give the viewer plenty…