Review: Samurai (2001)

From: ,
Directed by:
Cast: , , , ,

Not available in Australia on DVD (to our knowledge)

Okay, well, it helps to know the genre of any film before you start watching, and this one falls into the category of “Japanese computer geek samurai and sci-fi thriller”. Oh. Like a lot of Japanese films, devilishly hard to pigeonhole, and therefore usually entertaining, because so much variety usually throws up something worth a look.

The best thing about this film is undoubtedly the actor playing the cop Fujiwara: veteran actor Yasuaki Kurata, perhaps last seen in Fist Of Legend as the girly’s uncle. He’s here suited and serious, with a samurai’s stance, a cop’s raincoat, and a matinee idol’s dye job. At least he’s not losing his hair, and who am I to criticise anyone for hair dye anyway (given that mine varies wildly, and is usually an unnatural hue). And he’s a dab hand at waving a sword around without looking like a twonk or cutting off his own ear, and he manages to get close enough to the stuntmen to make it credible without actually dispatching what is probably a scarce resource these days.

Our man proceeds to deal harshly with the demon’s minions, probably because they’re all dressed alike in a rather uninspiring corp-rat uniform. I’d want to slice them up too, if they came near me. I love a bit of samurai action, and we see a reasonable amount, along with some obligatory nastiness from the minions. I’m less excited about the French contribution, which consists mainly of a hunky boyfriend (for Akemi, not the cop!) with a wacky sidekick. I’d have much preferred if the wacky sidekick got his just desserts very early in the piece, possibly involving the kickstand of his precious scooter. But alas, my preferences are of no moment, and said sidekick remains sadly un-kickstanded. But we can always hope for a sequel. Maybe.

7 heavy samurai swords out of 10.
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