21 March 2005 | kteel-1
Lively, fun, stylish movie about the wandering Sukeroku and what happens when he returns to his hometown after 7 years, arriving just as a big showdown is about to happen. Sanada's Sukeroku is a pleasure to watch: athletic, a bit hyper, a bit goofy -- you can't help but like him. He's living life to the fullest. Nakadai is a class act as an aging samurai facing his destiny. His performance is an unexpected bit of calm gravity. The action scenes are fast and fun, not realistic. The cinematography was very well done, making the most of limited sets. I found the jazzy score a minor distraction initially, but it fits the movie's mood.