Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (Kozure Ôkami: Meifumadô) (Shogun Assassin 4: Five Fistfuls of Gold) Reviews
The action is bloody and intense, the story is sophisticated and engaging and the direction and cinematography is gorgeous. A film filled with beautiful compositions and interesting angles. Much more artistically accomplished than many exploitation films you'll see.
This is a slight improvement over the 4th delivery, considering two very fun main aspects:
1) As a movie, it is the only one in the saga that will provide you the closest experience to playing a videogame, especially during the first half.
2) It has the most intense, climactic battle sequence in the entire series, and the bloodiest as well, trying to resemble the scope of "Sword of Doom".
Misumi takes the seat for the last time this famous, episodic story and leaves his signature in order to be remembered as the definitive and best director of "Lone Wolf and Cub". I agree.
Itto Ogami has a new task, defeat 5 warriors who each hold 1/5 of the story, and 1/5 of his fee. After he completes this, the story gets very out of place and ridiculous.
The warriors only tell their story, after they have been mortally wounded. This makes no sense, they should tell the story first.
After these scenes in the first act, the story takes a wide turn and develops Daigoro, whogets separated and ends up taking a whipping for defending a pickpocket.
Back to the main plotline, Itto intercepts a document containing a vital secret from his nemesis Retsudo, then takes on a mad Daiymo's royal guard and special spear warriors in order to restore order to the clan.
The story isn't as interesting, and the first 20 minutes is better than the rest of the movie. They even go so far as to not show several of the fights. A low point in the series.
I loved it though. A ronin assassin pushes his baby cart around the countryside, pursuing the thread of a job presented and earned through proof of violent skill, one part zen philosophy and one part splatterfest.
I reflected that the movie took on a tone reminiscent of a Peckinpah western, dark characters and moody shadows providing a foreshadow to the sudden and brutal violence. I also thought of the more recent example of Kill Bill Part 2, Chapter 8 as being drawn directly from this.
The story takes you a few places you wouldn't expect. It also amuses me with its shot angles and original fight choreography.
I read later that it was drawn from Manga, and I can see the correlation.
Dustingood takes a huge jump in esteem. This nearly drew a hallowed 8, and I look forward to the rest of the series. This was the 5th installment, and now I will take care to get them in chronological order. The only drag is that Dustin claims this 5th was the best. I hope to find at least similar quality throughout.