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Blade of the Immortal: A Very Fun Film That Features Blood, Battles and More Blood

March 4, 2018

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Based on the popular Japanese Manga series and directed by Takashi Miike (his 100th film) Blade of the Immortal is an epic experience that starts with a massive sword battle and ends with another massive sword battle. Words can’t describe all the carnage inflicted and that is a testament to Takashi Miike who throughout his 100 film career has learned to direct on a massive scale while still creating likable characters and non-repetitive slaughter. His 2010 movie 13 Assassins is one of my favorite action movies because it takes a stock concept (13 against many) and finds ways to keep you invested with its likable characters, horrible villain and a finale that leaves you breathless. He does the same with Blade of the Immortal and I love how he is able to blend immortality, limb loss, revenge, political intrigue, mysticism and epic battles into a cohesive two-hour film.

Blade of the Immortal revolves around a samurai named Manji (Takuya Kimura) who receives immortality after wiping out about 100 ronin who are looking for a bounty on his head. The huge battle left him only one eye and a lot less blood, but he is “saved” by a mystical nun who grants him immortality via sacred bloodworms that keep him young and repair his wounds. The movie then fast-forwards to 50 years later and focuses on a renegade group called Itto-ryu lead by a badass named Kagehisa Anotsu (Sota Fukushi) attacking a fencing school and killing everyone in it except for a young girl named Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki). Rin vows revenge and teams up with Manji in a quest to become a warrior and take out the Itto-ryu.

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My favorite moments in Blade of the Immortal feature Manji engaging in one-on-one combat with members of the Itto-ryu after he becomes Rin’s bodyguard. Each of the encounters are different and the movie starts to feel like a video game where the bosses keep getting tougher-and-tougher. Manji has to make his way through a guy with decapitated heads on his shoulders, a badass female samurai and an immortal who is older than he is. Throw in several other cool-looking killers and an army at the end and you have enough blood and violence to satiate you until the next Takashi Miike film. There is a bit of carnage fatigue and there are so only so many henchmen that can be murdered before tedium sets in, but I was never bored and the experience left me happy and wanting to watch 13 Assassins again.

If you are looking for a fantastic action film that features lots of carnage and cool characters you should check out Blade of the Immortal.

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