Zatoichi's Flashing Sword (1964)
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Critic Reviews for Zatoichi's Flashing Sword
Audience Reviews for Zatoichi's Flashing Sword
The film is a little repetitive in it's storyline but man the last half is amazing! We basically see Zatoichi trying to help see that justice is done and is wounded in the process but nursed back to health and taken in by a nice woman and her family. We then see how a rival gang is plotting to take over and control a river ford and kind of take over the area but Zatoichi will have a say in this before the film's over. The film is a little routine but overs several awesome set pieces and sequences of swordplay that finally culminate in a stunningly beautiful and filmed ending sequence. Zatoichi uses the darkness once again to his advantage and we are treated to some wonderful overhead and tracking shots that show how darkness and light are used cinematically as well as by the title character in his strategy!
Zatoichi's back and this time he's bringing along some of the most memorable moments from the series so far. Flashing Sword took it's time in drawing me in. This was probably because of the, mostly, comical beginning. Surprisingly the film has the darkest ending and a genuinely unnerving final shot. Zatoichi really cuts loose, and the film seems to suggest he becomes some kind of demon of darkness. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this is a favorite film of Park Chan-Wook, as it has many familiar scenes from his films. Most notably the underwater slicing scene and a single take fight sequence. Like Oldboy, the camera travels along parallel to the action (this time from above), with a seemingly endless swarm of attackers approaching the hero. This is a very memorable film for individual sequences, even if the story isn't as strong.
Series is still going strong here.
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