Blade of the Immortal Screen 81 of 4 reviews

Blade of the Immortal

2017

Blade of the Immortal Poster
  • Although the word “overkill” can be used to describe practically any of Takashi Miike’s films, in some ways, the director’s brutal, 2 1/2-hour sword-fight fantasy “Blade of Immortal” takes the notion to another level... The story of a Wolverine-like swordsman with the capacity to self-heal delves into an aesthetic of pain, showing a twisted fascination in the hero’s bloody gashes and mutilations.

  • Though not nearly as mindful or meaty as Mr. Miike’s 2011 triumph, “13 Assassins,” “Blade” is creatively gory fun. Overlong and over-the-top, the brutality finally becomes repetitive and somewhat deadening; but Mr. Miike has learned a few tricks from his many previous movies, like allowing the camera to sit still and capture the eerie silence that follows a massacre.

  • The chaos of the film’s plot, with its ever-shifting loyalties and growing cast of vengeful characters, complements the poetic cacophonies of the action sequences, forging a quasi-satirical vision of futility. This satire is intensified by the superb performances of Kimura, Sugisaki, and Fukushi, providing Miike’s gloriously beautiful compositions with aching human earnestness.

  • At an expansive but unvaried two hours and twenty minutes, Blade of the Immortal is a by turns thrilling and exhausting paean to the arduous task of killing and the numbing of the soul when one is so capable of death. Cutting down foe after foe—in a series of some singular but mostly indistinguishable action sequences—is shown as fierce but hard work, draining, repetitive, and potentially endless.

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