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(Review originally written at 5 May 2010)

I don't know the history behind it but it seems quite odd that for this movie they picked a new director, Buichi Saito, while the first till third movie got all directed by Kenji Misumi, as did the following fifth movie. Perhaps it had something to do with his health, since Kenji Misumi died quite young, in 1975.

But whatever the reasons were, it's a choice that worked out great for this particular movie. Its definitely a change of style. It's a more snappy a fast going movie than any of its predecessors. It's edited greatly and also has some nice little tricks in it. The movie is more Hollywood like and less Japanese like, if you will. This is not always a good thing but for this particular movie, its concept and story, it does work out well.

Its fight sequences are often spectacular, though they are also certainly less bloody than was still the case in the previous movies. Its faster editing and camera-work and fresh style of directing keeps it all great to watch. It also all helps to make the movie incredibly entertaining to watch.

I also liked how this movie handled the lone wolf and cub relationship. The whole father son relationship plays quite an essential role within this movie, more so than ever had been the case in the previous movies. It makes the movie quite 'cute' and also emotionally stronger. It also seems like Tomisaburo Wakayama's acting is stronger than ever before. In all of the previous movies he was mostly exchanging hard long looks with his foes but in this movie he seems to have more lines and also shows more emotions and expressions in his face.

Another thing that keeps playing an essential role within this movie are its wonderful looking environments. The natural environments are great and this movie takes us to some wonderful places, to all add to the movie its adventurous feeling.

Such perfect fun to watch!

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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