The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
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THE TALE OF ZATOICHI CONTINUES (1962) ****

Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) causes trouble for himself when he slashes the leader of a vicious gang in the eye in self-defense. The clan goes out looking for him and a pretty prostitute (who just so happens to be the spitting image of his former girlfriend) hides him away. When Zatoichi returns to pay his respect to Hirate’s grave (the samurai he killed in the first film), old enemies come out of the woodwork to take him down.

The Tale of Zatoichi Continues is a worthy sequel in every regard. The action is typically great. The scene where Zatoichi gets jumped by three men and he takes them down is pretty cool, and the many other swordfights are a lot of fun. In fact, there’s even more action here than there was in the first movie, and since the running time is noticeably abbreviated (it’s only 72 minutes long), the flick moves at a lightning pace.

Shintaro Katsu once again essays the role of Zatoichi with authority. He excels in the action sequences, but does some rather fine work exploring the more romantic aspects of the character too. The scenes between Zatoichi and the prostitute are sweet, and when he is briefly reunited with Otane (Masayo Banri), his love interest from the first movie, it’s pretty moving. The relationship between Zatoichi and the mysterious swordsman is quite intriguing in this one, and the scene where his identity is finally revealed is rather well done. Overall, The Tale of Zatoichi Continues is another excellent entry in the series.

AKA: The Return of Masseur Ichi.

Tags: action, sequel, t, zatoichi series
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