Rating (4 out of 5)
The samurai father and his son keep on hobbling down the road leaving death in their path. This movie delivers the same action as the previous two films while giving you some different ways to die. What a great trio of movies (if you love martial arts movies). If you don’t love martial arts films, then subtract 1 from my score.
Here are the links to the previous 2 movies.
Plot: In this film, as we make our way down the river we come across a young girl being sold to a brothel. In saving her, we then meet the woman who owns the brother, whose father used to be a leader of a clan until he was deposed by the corrupt governor. They hire Ogami to assassinate the governor.
What I Liked: The number of new ways to kill with a sword or weapon are really one of the features drawing me back for more. Its an addiction and I cant wait to see more.
LW&C offer a great lesson for all current movie makes, a sequel doesn’t have to be so outlandish and over the top, so your audience stops believing. Just enough new action sequences so that the audience knows it is different.
In the US sequels go from a fireworks to nuclear bombs, there is not small ramping up. This is going from a small firework, to a medium firework. Small incremental changes.
The ninja swimming under the water with the bamboo snorkels. The ninja attack on their make shift bamboo/brush home. Use the little kid to deceive the man using pistols. All of it was just plan fun.
There is a disturbing scene in the movie; There are four mercenaries of which one is a former samurai. 3 of the mercenaries attack and rape a mother and her daughter. The former samurai comes along and afterwards solves the situation in a way he believes keeps with the Samurai code. While solving the problem he crosses paths with Ogami. They later meet again at the end of the movie. They battle and then explore the meaning of being a true samurai. It was an interesting bookend of a movie, and good explore into honor and samuari.
One of the themes that you see in these films, is not only right and wrong, but honor and ethics. Do you always obey everyone? What is right, or is there a morale code of what you know is right? When is right more important to follow than structured code? Typically this is interwoven into the story, but the story of the samurai, the questions are a bit more explicit.
The scene with the head of the brothel and Ogami was really interesting to me. Another movie, another very strong female character, who respects Ogami because of how honorable and brave he is, even though her herself lives in the gray area. Then in her brothel world, there was a code of conduct and Ogami respected that code.
The son plays a growing role in their journey. He shows kindness on multiple occasions to the people they meet. Ogami himself doesn’t show the kindness his son does, but he doesn’t stop his son. He also is participating more in portions of their battles.
I haven’t mentioned it before, but these movies are quick bursts of fun and 1 1/2 hours.
What I Didn’t Like: There was one thing that was a little over the top, and it was the guns that blast out of the baby carriage. That was the first time that it maybe was too much.
Conclusion: In the end this another in the series of martial arts film that are great.