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‘Mifune: The Last Samurai’ Review: A Painfully Safe Documentary About One Of Cinema’s Most Explosive Stars

‘Mifune: The Last Samurai’ Review: A Painfully Safe Documentary About One Of Cinema’s Most Explosive Stars

Over the course of his legendary acting career, Toshiro Mifune was a samurai, a stray dog, and a shoe tycoon. He was a muse for one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th Century, a beacon for Japanese cinema, and a howling ambassador for the entire country and its culture. He was a feral force of nature who prized combustion over control, a wild gust of wind whose energy only a precious few collaborators knew how to harness. He was even, according to his daughter, almost Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The one thing that Toshiro Mifune wasn’t — wasn’t even capable of being — was boring. At least not on screen. At least not until now.

A thin, dull, and by-the-numbers biography that fails to capture its subject’s irrepressible spirit or properly contextualize his importance, Steven Okazaki’s “Mifune: The Last Samurai” might have made for a solid bonus feature on a Criterion Collection DVD,

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