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The opening credits are cleverly presented during an animated story background. The style was much like that of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One or Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. When moviemakers really care about a movie, they make an effort to have the opening credits "affect" the viewer somehow. Even if it's only music over a black screen, moods are set and pace is foreshadowed. I've commented on the great opening credits of The Good The Bad and The Weird, and that movie was awesome. This made for a promising start.
In this perhaps futuristic world guns have somehow been banned, making way for a resurgence in swordsmanship and a feudal yakuza-esque gang culture. A young, Doc Holidayish brawler (Hartnett) and a swordless samurai team up to exact their revenge against the ruthless king of the hill, "The Woodsman" (Perlman). To do so, they must kill their way through leagues of henchman and his nine right hand men, one of which is played by a sleek Kevin McKidd.
This film is VERY stylistic.Read more ›
Plot? Motivation? Characterization? Well, not so much, but let's not dwell on that. The visual spectacle makes this worthwhile.
-- wiredweird, reviewing the release to theaters
But I sat down and watched it, and honestly, I really really liked it. Not to say the movie isn't flawed. the beginning is a bit campy and confusing. I didn't know where they were going with anything until almost 15 minutes in. The way they introduced and built the characters up could have been done much better.
However, once you got passed the corny introductions to the characters, and figured out what the heck was going on... the rest fell into place nicely.
Josh Hartnett filled the role of "The Drifter" very well. he brought a bit of realism to what could best be described as a comic book character. There were moments where he made you laugh, like a scene where he has to use a trapeze. I really enjoyed the fight scenes with "The Drifter". They were exciting... Josh Hartnett was right on in his interpretation of the character.
I think Woody Harrelson did a great job as the bartender. He seemed to fit the role perfectly, and I'm not talking about his bartending stint on 'Cheers'. (I was too little to really appreciate his time on that show - lol). what I liked about Harrelson in this movie... He has this sort of wisdom in his eye, and cunningly knowing smile. He really stuck out to me in this movie. I have to say, I have a new found respect for Harrelson as an actor after this role.
Gackt surprised me. I'm a big fan of his music, and I liked him in Furin Kazan (a Japanese Samurai period piece)... however, I didn't know how he would handle the transition to and English speaking Hollywood movie. Surprisingly, his acting is very good.Read more ›
Would I watch again? - I don't think so *Also try - Sin City & Tekken
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie that keeps your attention. I have to buy a replacement because I wore my copy out watching so oftenPublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
The art direction, itself, is worth a look. I love the first fight/dance. The plot is not great, but it is so fun to look at.Published 1 month ago by James Dexter Russ IV
An entertaining romp of an action flick that isn't meant to be taken seriously and has both great acting and an interesting story. Quite entertaining overall.Published 2 months ago by Gerald Pennabaker
One of the best noir, samurai, fantasy, b-movies to come out in a long time. Having Gackt as the samurai is an extra plus. I give is 5 stars.Published 3 months ago by Jg BEWA
One of my favourite movies. Stylized like a Japanese puppet show, somewhat surreal, and an altogether good martial arts film...that has a variety of styles.Published 4 months ago by Beorn