Boonmee’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ogami Itto and his son, Daigoro are at it again. Encountering a veiled warrior at the foot of a waterfall, Itto is launched headlong into a task thrusting him into contact with four more of the assassins. With each one defeated, he gains a new piece of information leading him to the ultimate task (which actually reveals itself to be a prelude to something even bigger.
Baby Cart in the Land of Demons is pretty standard for the Lone Wolf and Cub series - neither the best nor the worst of the five films up to this point. This one is particularly preoccupied with a strict point-to-point narrative of intimately connected activities which I don't remember there being such an emphasis on before. The showdowns are entertaining and the exposition is heavy as is to be expected, but the film distinguishes itself (slightly) with the darkness of its conclusion and with a kill about halfway through the film that might stand as one of the coolest (an important factor in these movies) and most creative assassinations of the whole series.
It all gets a little too busy at times (with an unnecessary pickpocket sub-plot clogging up the story's progression for 20 minutes at one point) and the instances of dying combatants telling stories as they bleed out profusely (or in one case, as they are consumed by fire) tests my ability to take it seriously, but it's a decent entry, nonetheless. The Lone Wolf and Cub films are all about excess, visual style and the mythos behind the central duo and the fifth film delivers everything I have come to expect from these films, but I doubt it will linger in the mind for very long.
Here's to hoping things go out on a high note with White Heaven in Hell!