Blade of the Immortal
Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
Screening at LFF and TIFF this autumn, famously prolific and controversial director Takashi Miike’s (Ichi the Killer, Straw Shield, 13 Assassins) latest film (his 100th!) already has excellent early reviews from Cannes.
Based on the eponymous manga series by Hiroaki Samura, it stars Takuya Kimura as Manji, a Shogunate era samurai saved by a witch after a vicious battle. Plying him with bloodworms, she gives him the dubious gift of eternal life. Haunted by the memory of his sister, Manji sees an opportunity for vengeance when he meets a young girl orphaned by murderers – and takes on the culprits, a team of master swordsmen.
One by one, Manji tracks them down, leading the audience through one stylised showdown after another; all brilliantly choreographed, outlandishly violent and sometimes brutally comic to boot.