I am not usually a fan of dubbed versions of Japanese films. Most of the time, they are so poorly done I don’t know why they even bother. But somehow, I found Shogun Assassin to be not only forgivable, but an awesome flick. The actors chosen are intentionally ethnic Japanese in order to better represent accuracy of this story to the viewers. It features a more simplified storyline from the manga, with some characters changed to lend them more significance to Ogami’s revenge mission.
The slower-paced scenes that serve as thumbnail sketches of the relationship between Ogami and his son. What I love about it most is how it really feels like you are put in this guy’s position. You worry about him and his son throughout the film. It’s not just the sword play and the many liters of blood let in each duel. It’s the whole idea. The action is apparently set circa 1300 to 1500, when gun powder still wasn’t widely used, perhaps set even earlier than that, due to the lack of crossbows and arrows.
They are pursued by endless squads of ninjas which are handily and bloodily dispatched in grand style. The amount of blood spilled is so over the top as to be cartoonish, which only adds to the uniqueness of the movie. Of course this movie is awesome, but i recommend getting the whole Lone Wolf and Cub series. I’ve introduced several people to it, and every person found it extremely entertaining. As with most stories in this genre, the plot is somewhat hokey, and some of the dialouge is comical, but the fight scenes are over-the-top, and wonderfully crafted.
Quite simply, if you like these kinds of movies, there is no way you won’t like this one. It has aged very well and entertained me throughout. This film quietly rolls along picking up speed and delivers the goods. You’ll really have to just see it for yourself, this edition is an opportunity, but in any case can replace the lone wolf series. A great start for the new fans of the genre. Oh, and for the hip hop heads out there, this is the movie sampled by one of the greatest albums of all time, GZA’s Liquid Swords.
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