20 July 2007 | Quinoa1984
it's good for a one-time viewing, but I'm not sure if I'd rush to see it again
Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo was good as a throwaway movie-of-the-night to watch with friends (friends who were into Zatoichi and old samurai movies), but in the sense of it being something worthy of its stature, it didn't quite deliver. A big chunk of the problem, as many of reviewers as well as author Stuart Galbraith, was Toshrio Mifune wasn't really playing the character really as he was in the Kurosawa films. In the original Yojimbo and Sanjuro, Mifune crafted a true anti-hero bad-mutha samurai, who was grungy with his scratches, but also very cunning in how he could play both sides or act a little uncouth in his manipulations. Here, one just sees him acting like a stumbling drunk, and even a little like a scummy caricature of Yojimbo. Truth be told, it's meant more for Zatoichi fans- he was a HUGE title character, as played by its star Shintaro Katsu. But the problem there as well is that there have been better Zatoichi movies (I haven't even seen many, but the few I've seen, and as repetitive as they can get, aren't shoehorned plot-wise like so). And this isn't totally to put the movie down, as a cash-in flick it does attempt at making some entertaining segments (and I do like how the two of them decide at first to combine forces, so to speak). But it's all not very memorable, as many franchises end up doing when trying to combine their vehicle-makers, except for real die-hard fans of the stars or the genre. It's even sort of lackadaisically shot and edited, in a very formulaic manner.