The following review is an extract from the book "Shintaro Katsu´s Zatoichi: Complete guide to all movies", which is now available on Amazon. Highly recommended for all Zatoichi fans!
"After "Zatoichi in desperation", Shintaro Katsu got "behind and in front" of the cameras again at the same time for this last film in the saga about the adventures of the swordsman and blind masseur. Katsu directs and stars in this 1989 "Zatoichi", as well as having written the script, and financed it as a co-producer. His son Ryutaro Gan impersonates the young oyabun Goemon.
Apart from seeing a very mature Ichi, around sixty years old and in the twilight of his days, the plot brings practically nothing new to what has already been seen in the 25 previous films. The same schemes are repeated, old details and stories are recycled, we see the same strategy of Ichi in the dice game, and the blind masseur continues to fully retain his faculties with the sword. In this, years have not passed for him.
The film lasts two hours, much longer than the most of the other movies (Only "Zatoichi meets Yojimbo" has that extension as well).
Although this last film may disappoint some, one thing is for sure: Zatoichi is Shintaro Katsu and Shintaro Katsu is Zatoichi. Later attempts to bring the blind hero back to the big screen with other actors may be respectable (as is the case with Takeshi Kitano's "Zatoichi" in 2003), but they don't reach the quality of Katsu's 60's and 70's Zatoichi films (directed by Kenji Misumi, Kimiyoshi Yasuda or Kazuo Ikehiro among others).
Good soundtrack with ambient touches by Takayuki Watanabe, except for one song in English, which is quite out of place in that context.
There was a tragic accident during the shooting of this film: Actor Ryutaro Gan (son of Shintaro Katsu), who plays Goemon, killed an extra with a katana while filming a combat scene."
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Older, wiser but still a wandering loner, the blind, peace-loving masseur Ichi seeks a peaceful life in a rural village. When he's caught in the middle of a power struggle between two rival Yakuza clans, his reputation as a deadly defender of the innocent is put to the ultimate test in a series of sword-slashing showdowns. —Tokyo Shock
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 08, 2021 at 11:24 PM