Friday, July 17, 2009


Sanjuro, 1962
Dir: Akira Kurosawa
July 16, 2009
Netflix Wakefield MA

My first impression of this sequel to Yojimbo (1961) is that it is a great, yet slightly inferior film to it's predecessor in that it simply reprises an awesome character, which of course is good enough for me. Sanjuro might actually have the better final showdown, which is off-the-charts intense, and then phenomenally quick and jaw-droppingly awesome.

The samurai-with-no-name (Toshirō Mifune) is back, and again he's in a town where evil men are trying to oust the Chamberlain, who is a good man, from his position of power. He agrees to help nine young samurai, one of whom is the Chamberlain's nephew, deal with the growing corruption in their clan and rescue the Chamberlain and his family, who have been taken captive. He agrees to do this only because he believes they are "naive and stupid." So yeah, he is that awesome.

Mifune continues to dish out out his bizarre philosophy and then sometimes contradict it ("You made me kill those people!"), and the young samurai are sometimes confused by his actions and words, not believing that a proper samurai would behave in such a way. He also continues to use is wits to outsmart his opponents, eventually getting Hanbei (Tatsuya Nakadai, back for more baddie action), a samurai henchman, to believe he is on their side. The fact that Hanbei is made of fool of, something that he cannot live with, is the cause of the final showdown, which the wandering ronin had wanted to avoid. He then leaves, left to wander to good earth again, still the coolest man ever.

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