Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968)
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Critic Reviews for Zatoichi and the Fugitives
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Audience Reviews for Zatoichi and the Fugitives
Zatoichi once again gets mixed up in a fight between gangsters, corrupt officials and simple townsfolk. Zatoichi and the Fugitives offers a darker tone than some of the films in the series, and not just because a lot of it happens at night. Katsu is given tremendous support from the likes of Kurosawa regular, Takashi Shimura. He's also up against a whole band of villains as his main physical threat. This leads to Zatoichi taking some of the most vicious beatings in the series. It is a bloody affair, but it's the small moments of blood, such as the fugitives just scraping Zatoichi's face with their swords, that make this an uneasy watch. The fights are gritty, as opposed to fluent. It's a strong entry, and one that sticks to the formula, even if there is a lack of gambling.
Zatoichi and the Fugitives is a darker and more gritty film and we see Ichi taking much more damage than normally and is run down substancially before he stands up for himself. This film has a strong supporting role played by Takashi Shimura who was an Akira Kurosawa regular and this offers some great interaction on the two's part and makes it a more serious film overall. As usual with the world seemingly against him and his humble ways, Ichi must rise up and overcome to restore balance, and once again he delivers!
Several faces will be recognized by Japanese cinema buffs, giving great interpretations of their characters. The ending, even if you see it coming, is heart-wrenching. The life of a yakuza is rough.
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