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(Review originally written at 5 December 2009)

Well, this movie does not quite feel like the perfect picture yet but what it does is setting the things up for the further movies within in the trilogy.

In 1955 and 1956 the two follow-ups for this movie got released, which focuses on the soon to be samurai Musashi Miyamoto. What this movie does is setting up the characters and laying down the right foundations for the future movies. And the movie really does feel like a setup movie, fore this movie itself doesn't quite reaches a conclusion and it builds up to a much bigger plan. This movie is making it obvious that the following movies would be epic ones to watch. This however all means that this actual movie isn't quite as good as a movie itself, as it is as a setup movie. This is no complaint really of course once you also decide on watching the following two movies.

It's a good looking movie, made in the well known typical Japanese '50's style and it's about something classic Japanese movies are of course so well known for. It's set in the 16th century Japan, in the middle of a war, featuring of course a lot of skilled sword masters. Sounds all very much like a Akira Kurosawa picture so far, also not in the least because it also stars ToshirĂ´ Mifune as the movie its main character. But of course there were lots of other Japanese skilled directors at the same time active within the business, such as Hiroshi Inagaki, who directed this entire movie trilogy.

Don't expect this movie to feature a lot of fight- and battle sequences though. The movie at times becomes epic with some of its war moments but its all kept quite short, as if they were saving it all for the future movies. Still ToshirĂ´ Mifune of course gets to do his thing in this movie though.

A movie that serves its purpose as a setup for things to come in the following two movies of this quite well known trilogy.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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