THE INVINCIBLE MUSASHI MIYAMOTO
Daniel Rivera | Los Angeles, California United States | 07/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WHAT defines a man's greatness? Is it power and ambition, or something more? Part II of the magnificent Samurai Trilogy brims with action, force, kinetic energy, beauty and emotion. This film continues the saga of Musashi Miyamoto (performed by the venerable TOSHIRO MIFUNE) and his quest for perfection amidst the lives and loves that surround him. The film begins with one of the most exciting scenes in the trilogy, in which Musashi duels with Chain-and-Sickle master Baiken using his trademark Two-Sword Stance. After the battle Musashi comes upon a priest who chides him for his lacking the chivalry and grace to match his power. Much water has passed under Seijuro Bridge as Otsu (the lovely Kaoru Yachigusa) awaits for Musashi's return after three years -a testament to the Japanese virtue of loyalty. During her wait she comes upon the courtesan Akemi (Mariko Okada), who unfortunately also harbors feelings for Musashi, and the already-complicated romance becomes even more difficult as both vie for the same man's affection.In his search of worthy opponents, Musashi makes enemies with Seijuro Yoshioka, head of one of Japan's most prestigious kendo schools -which in actuality has become little more than a band of thugs. Musashi's brave performance under pressure and growing reputation attract the man who will be his archenemy into the scene, the handsome yet deadly Kojiro Sasaki (played to perfection by Koji Tsuruta), a swordsman of unsurpassed skill whose trademark "Swallow-Cut" can slice a bird in flight! The most awe-inspiring scene in the trilogy is Musashi's final battle against Seijuro's EIGHTY students: the greatest mismatch in history, AND YET he manages to defeat them and face off with the schoolmaster! Once victorious, Musashi prepares to deliver the coup-de-grace when he remembers the priest's words and the lessons of his new experiences. His soul became as polished as his sword. He spares Seijuro. Hiroshi Inagaki shows his masterful abilities as director (or poet?) of this film. Breathtaking cinematography and color shows the beauty and spirit in nature, which parallel the actions and events in the lives of the characters. A memorable example is a scene of two sparrows singing together, which immediately precedes the reunion of Musashi and Otsu. Ikuma Dan's score is every bit as stirring and triumphant as for the first film. The depiction of life and culture in 17th century Japan is rich and vibrant in this film, as is the evocative character development of each person. In addition to the superlative, complex storytelling, this motion picture is graced with a noble philosophy: One's greatness is not defined by action or ability as much as motive and intention. It is a testament to the human spirit. INCREDIBLE."
The Second Movie of this Fantastic Trilogy!
superseankungfu | Seattle, WA | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this movie Musashi continues to polish his soul and find The Way. Now he has a purpose in his life and is rapidly becoming famous and sought after. He begins to learn that to be a Samurai involves more that just Kenjutsu, but also requires Kensho(knowing thyself).Musashi also aquires an apprentice and a determined suitor. Both willing to follow him across Japan and back.This movie is so great and so different from the other two, you must see this movie as well as the other two!"
PART TWO......AS GOOD AS THE FIRST
Sparky | East Haven, CT USA | 11/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will make this simple. I purchased this from AMAZON.COM and have YET TO REGRET IT! A wonderful sequel. More action, but more importantly, more of the maturing of the samurai warrior. If you order SAMURAI I, you MUST get Samurai II and III. Brilliant and heady. A great look into the Japanese psyche and, in turn, into what makes a human...well,...human."
Samurai no douro
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 07/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"_Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple_ starts off exactly where _Samurai I: Miyamoto Musashi_ leaves off. Musashi, the former Takezo, wanders Japan in search of ways to improve his swordsmanship by challenging other skilled samurai to duels. At the beginning of the film, Musashi is fighting a warrior armed with a sickle and chain and, although Musashi is victorious, an old Buddhist monk says that Musashi failed as a Samurai because he lacks compassion for his enemy and that Musashi was too strong.
Musashi is dumbfounded by these words, but he continues on to Kyoto where he wants to challenge Yoshioka Seijuro to a duel. Seijuro, although the head of a school of swordsmanship, is actually more interested in receiving the attentions of Akemi,the same girl who tried to seduce Takezo in the first movie, however, when he learns that Musashi wants to fight him, he actually wants to do battle, but his underlings, knowing that there is no way for Seijuro to win in a fight against Musashi, try to keep him from fighting the travelling warrior.
Musashi, although his mind is completely on the future battle, is taken back when he runs into his old love Otsu, who has been searching for him for over a year. Although Musashi states that he loves his sword more that Otsu, she is determined to remain by his side. A battle of love and a battle of steel both wage war inside of Musashi.
This is a good movie, although I don't think that it as good as the first one, which has some pretty cool fight scenes, especially the part when Musashi takes on eighty members of the Yoshioka school. However, the key part is the appearanve of Sasaki Kojiro, Musashi strongest enemy."