Mini Film Review – Blade of the Immortal

I have just watched Blade of the Immortal; and let me just say that I love 13 Assassins; it is one of my favourite films. This film however, I am completely lost about! Blade of the Immortal celebrates a major milestone in cinema as it’s Takashi Miike’s 100th film. I was really excited about this film when I first heard about it, as Takashi Miike directed the incredible 13 Assassins, and when an opportunity arises to watch one of his historical epics, I jump right in. This film though is really off! Based on the Manga of the same name, the film follows a warrior who literally cannot be killed, and set’s itself up ok with an overly long introduction but still an ok set up to get you interested. The fights are blood ridden and well choreographed and set up in a similar fashion to No More Heroes as lieutenants stand in line up to the big boss. But that’s about it! The fights are good, the end battle is great, but it doesn’t make up for the pacing issue of the film. In a similar fashion to Hara-Kiri, most of the plot is pushed aside for theory. A fight happens, then there’s quite a bit of nonsensical speaking; and the question pops in your head ‘what has any of it got to do with the film?’ The film’s lead: Manji (Takuya Kimura), is rather all over the place as to who he really is. I get he has a struggle as an immortal man, but at one point he is heroic and brave, and then he’s on the flip side mad and all over the shop. Characters are an issue for the film as they too flip more times than any coin, and it’s a constant stream of misunderstanding as you wonder who is good, who is bad/why is he now good, why is now bad/I thought he was supposed to be good, oh he’s not good anymore is he/oh so he was bad all along? Most of the stuff in this film could be cut or sped through and it wouldn’t be too bad, but there were times when I was really losing concentration. There are some good bits to this film, but they feel lost in a sea of theoretical misunderstanding and an ending which doesn’t make much sense! It feels like a real shame.

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