The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

FIGHT, ZATOICHI, FIGHT (1964) ***

Some hooligans mistake a carriage carrying a sick woman for Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) and murder her. Feeling somewhat responsible for her death, Zatoichi offers to take her baby back to its father. The gang learns that Zatoichi will be transporting the baby, and thinking his defenses will be down, organize another attack. Along the way, Zatoichi gets a reluctant female pickpocket to help him with the baby on his long journey.

Because a baby figures so heavily into the plot, there’s some overly cutesy things here (like the baby pissing in Zatoichi’s face). They don’t necessarily detract from the film, but they don’t exactly help either. Although I could’ve done without the scene where Zatoichi tries to breastfeed the baby, I did like the montage of discarded diapers that showed Zatoichi’s progress across the land.

Despite the presence of a baby, Zatoichi still finds time to do some of his usual shtick. In one scene, he fights a bunch of gamblers who try to cheat him. There’s also a cool scene where Zatoichi asks a would-be assassin for a piece of paper and he slices it up in a blink of an eye; prompting the killer to reconsider.

These moments aside, the film still bogs down; more so than the previous films. The berth between action sequences feels a lot longer this time around and the flick is lacking the punch the best films in the series have. And the bickering relationship between Zatoichi and the pickpocket is a bit annoying at times. At least the finale where Zatoichi fights a bunch of guys brandishing torches is pretty kick-ass, and caps an otherwise uneven outing in fine fashion.

AKA: Blind Swordsman: Fight, Zatoichi, Fight.

Tags: action, f, sequel, zatoichi series
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