Title: Blade of the Immortal
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
Runtime: 2 hrs 20 mins
What It Is: Following the wrongful murderer of a man Manji (Kimura) is cursed with immortality. Now a young girl named Rin (Sugisaki) is seeking help taking out ruthless gang leader Anotsu (Fukushi) the man that killed her father and lead to the death of her loving mother. Now the manhunt begins with an immortal guardian at her side for the gang that essentially ended her life. With that all the blood and violence one would expect from feudal Edo Japan.
What We Think: This is one time when 2 hrs 20 doesn’t feel like 2 hrs 20. There’s a beauty in the violence here. With every swipe of a katana that moves the whole affair along at a good pace. Kimura and Sugisaki have excellent chemistry and Miike does a great job of directing that chemistry throughout. This is a beautiful film, one that it seems, took enough from its source material in order to craft a good narrative and the visceral visual flare Miike has because known for. An unflinching story well told by a master storyteller. Blood splattered satisfaction indeed.
Our Grade: B+, 100 films. That’s how many Miike has directed with this film here. Featuring all the gratuitous brutality you want out of Miike but bookended by some of his best shot work to date this film works as a very digestible introduction to one of the cinemas absolute masters. I highly recommend you check this one out! It’s well worth your time and available on Amazon Prime in the U.S. RIGHT NOW! Be prepared for the long haul though as the runtime suggests. It probably won’t matter though because it doesn’t really lag at all throughout. Gimme more Samurai’s Takashi I need them!