Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Crazy Samurai Musashi’

Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Crazy Samurai Musashi’

All things are relative…

Crazy Samurai Musashi brings us the story of Japan’s most legendary swordsman; Miyamoto Musashi.  As a clan’s future hangs in the balance, a boy of noble birth rests by a temple. The dishonor of his father and the death of his brother must be avenged but the boy is merely bait, there to draw out the enemy who has brought shame upon the Yoshioka School of sword fighting. In the surrounding woods, hundreds of Yoshioka retainers lurk, weapons at the ready, in anticipation of the solitary swordsman’s arrival. This will not be a fair fight. Not fair at all.

While technically proficient and mildly interesting, Crazy Samurai Musashi ends up being a little boring because while a 77 minute fight scene with no cuts sounds good on paper, it’s get dull after about 20 minutes.

Director Yuji Shimomura working from a script by the one and only Sion Sono makes something that should be playing right into the action crowd from minute one.  At the beginning it does that and once the set up is complete it drops us into an immaculately crafted fight scene that has us on the edge of our seats…

…and then it keeps going…

…and then it keeps going for an hour and 17 minutes.

There really isn’t any kind of character development and the story is about as bare bones basic as it gets.

While no one can doubt Shimomura’s extensive background as a fight coordinator, Crazy Samurai Musashi is barely a movie.  It’s a fascinating and even fun cinematic exercise for those who appreciate some high quality action on screen, but we needed more than seeing 400 plus guys get eventually killed by one.  The history behind this story deserved better than this film.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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