Outlaw: Heartless trudges on, hitting familiar marks of the past two films without as much flair. Goro's macho stoicism and violent reputation leave a trail of death and despair behind him no matter how much good he tries to do.
The story is more straightforward here, which is good since actors from the first two play entirely new characters. It almost feels like we're following a folk-like anthology of the legend of Goro the Assassin.
Keiichi Ozawa's direction brings more greens and open spaces to the series, which contrasts with the claustrophobic fight setpieces. Unfortunately, the action here is not nearly as good; lots of flailing and falling with little of the brutality of the first two. In its place we get more melodrama, as weepy as the soapiest seishun pictures at the time, but not quite as emotional.
Many characters attempt to befriend Goro, but Heartless damns him for trying to escape his fate as a deadly drifter.