Is not THAT good as the reviewer down me said!!!
Francisco Cortes | San Juan, Puerto Rico USA | 11/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here is my opinion:
1- Beautiful colors!!
2- AWESOME moves by Zatoichi!!!
3- Good final fight.
1- NOT much action-packed!!
2- The cover and the trailer on the DVD fool you by showing a snow-fight battle that didn't appear in the movie!!!!
3- The production was great but the camera shots were not THAT good as the Zatoichi films in the 70's.
P.S: Watch only the Zatoichi films in the 70's because they have the best production, even better than the last movie in 1989!!!"
Assassin and Samaritan
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 08/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In a series as long as Zatoichi, there are bound to be a few that fall short of excellence. Unfortunately, "Samaritan Zatoichi" (original title "Zatôichi kenka-daiko" or "Zatoichi and the Fighting Drums") is a pretty mediocre entry, one that never really delivers or summons up that entertaining mix of charm, humor and action that is the hallmark of the Zatoichi series.
The story starts off with an interesting premise. Zatoichi, lured by obligation to the Yakuza brotherhood, assassinates a wild gambler who hasn't paid his debts. The whole thing turns out to be a sham, calculated to get the gambler's sister working in the local brothel to pay off her brother's debts. The girl, Sode, flees, and Zatoichi sets himself up as the girl's bodyguard, feeling obligated for her current dilemma. Of course, a mysteriously powerful samurai dogs the tracks of Zatoichi and Sode, sometimes lending assistance but promising a future showdown.
While the plot is pretty by-the-numbers, that has never hindered a good Zatoichi flick. What is really lacking is the chemistry between Zatoichi and Sode, who never seem to click. Sode is also almost too stupid, refusing Zatoichi's help over and over again even though he rescues her from constant danger. The big blow-out at the end takes place in a darkened brothel, which seems like a nice twist but comes off awkward as the director tries to keep up with the action in the dark.
Director Kenji Misumi has a great pedigree, having directed the first two Zatoichi films as well as the memorable "Zatoichi and the Fire Festival." However, this time he just doesn't pull it off. By no means a bad flick, but on the lower level of the series.