Directed by: Takashi Miike
Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya
This is the third Takashi Miike movie I’ve seen, after Audition and The Great Yokai War, and I gotta say that I have no idea whatsoever what his style is. All three of these movies are pretty good/remarkable in their own ways, but they’re also pretty extraordinarily different from each other. That’s a really interesting thing to get out of a director’s filmography.
Near the end of Japan’s feudal era, there is one really, really bad lord who does a lot of bad things, and a couple old school samurai are not happy with him. They decide to get together a group of samurai to kill the guy, and come up with a plan to head him off on the road back to his home, where he will be completely untouchable.
The action sequences in this film are fantastic. It’s all very realistic, yet still very cool samurai swordfighting. You’d think the movie would rest on the action alone, but there are actually some really good individual character arcs in there, on top of the very nice, traditional sort of main story. If you like cool action and aren’t turned off by dramatic scenes in between them (kinda like Seven Samurai, as obvious of a comparison as that is), then I recommend 13 Assassins.