Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oro!? When did Kenshin come back?

I was a little dubious when I heard that a live-action Kenshin movie was being made, we all know how Dragonball went after all. This left me pleasantly surprised when I actually got around to watching the 2-3 hour film recently (yes I am super late to the party). They follow the series quite well but obviously had to make changes to fit in the budget/time constraints (and sort of highlighted how much filler crap there was in the series). I was a little miffed one character was missing but afterwards I could see it was a good call because giving him and his buddies very little development and screentime would be a bigger disservice, especially since it went so well that they are making a second movie. :D

These people look familiar...

The fight scenes are pretty good and go up to awesome. The actors for me work well too, mostly. Kenshin is good as the hapless rurouni, not so much as the "angry face" hitokiri though. Kaoru and Megumi for me are fine and Sano is ok, though his zanbato is hard to take seriously. Poor Yahiko looked the part but had nothing to do - more or less an extra/throw away. Everyone's favourite cop in that era does an amiable job of being a badass, though I hope we get to see a rematch like the one at the start of the Shishio Arc in a future movie. As for the baddies the guy doing Kanryu overacts a bit which is absolutely fine for a drug smuggling a-hole. Jin-e was perfect. The other two "mini-bosses" don't really have a ton of development but they play their part of combat opponents nicely. Everyone else comes from the stock-standard demonized pile of losers on the street (literally).

There are some questionable story holes too (which usually happens when you cut a large part of the story out). Just a few being: Megumi willing to go out to dinner at a restaurant though she's a hunted person. She also doesn't tell the nice people she's staying with about her problems. Why Kaoru lets anyone and everyone stay at the school. What exactly happened to her dad. Why people think the battousai comes from her school. Why all the psychos actually "work" for Kanryu? They could just kill him and take the loot (he doesn't really come across as a savvy business man in the flick, more like he inherited some wealth). Why Jin-e massacres a whole bunch of nobodies and sets fire to a shrine he's sitting in for no good reason (I guess being a psycho covers it). Why, if it is illegal to carry a sword, are all of Kanryu's men armed? Sano too - does he just claim it's a large bandaged bread loaf? Not exactly the easiest thing to conceal. Most importantly why people think a sakaba sword is not a deadly weapon? "Oh, it's blunt metal like a crowbar at the front and only razor sharp at the back. It's not like he can turn the sword around when he feels like and really - crowbars haven't been used to kill people. Ever."

Also, who is missing you ask?

Beshimi... Hyotoko.... Shikijo.... Hanya....

Still very minor things in an otherwise very enjoyable movie. I can see Aoshi working with Sano's bomb-making friend instead in the sequel. Not sure how they'd fit the entire Shishio Arc without condensing the cast and/or mixing them around though. I mean adding Hiko Seijuro himself should probably eat up one third of the movie if they do the whole training thing. Not much we can do but wait. Till then though, you can and should watch the movie! Too lazy to find it yourself? Here you go. Enjoy!

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