I watch movies and play video games. Big surprise, huh?
Ok, so I admit I had a great time watching this. But it was moreso with the inner debate I had over whether or not the movie was trying to be serious. The pacing is languid, the twists telegraphed with lighting speed, the acting is amateur, the score overdone, the music choices awful, and the kills mostly CGI. Every choice, whether in terms of script, lighting, cinematography, direction, blocking, acting, or whatever was so baffling I couldn't help but cringe…
Wading through expressionistic sets that teeter-totter between John Ford comedy and Hideout Gosha surrealism, I find myself thinking the only true "drifter" of this film is the narrative.
Awash with artistic pretension and continuity-skewing editing, this is a flashy crime film wrapped in a neon fever dream. And for once, I don't necessarily mean that as praise. Thankfully short.
One thing I’ve always loved about Hong Kong Action movies is their penchant for never thinking anything is impossible. They’ll have characters ride on top of speeding cars, a gun in each hand, firing at their targets, while driving said cars with their sneakered feet. John Woo rose to fame during the brilliantly wacky time of Hong Kong action's golden years of the 1980s to 1997. And as such, when he came to the United States, he still had those…
Katsu, in what might be his finest form as an actor, plays a truly detestable blind man who uses his intellect to hurt and manipulate everyone around him. He's such a piece of shit, the movie can be hard to watch at times. But I think it's fairly brilliant.
I've seen it listed elsewhere as a kind of "dry run" for Katsu's later Zatoichi films, and it sort of is, but it's also an entirely different beast than those. This is a grim crime drama, more in the vein of Scarface, than the kind of Action-heavy Chanbara-type movies associated with Zatoichi.
Definitely worth a look.