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Variety Review: ‘Blade of the Immortal’


Although the word “overkill” can be used to describe practically any of Takashi Miike’s films, in some ways, the director’s brutal, 2 1/2-hour sword-fight fantasy “Blade of Immortal” takes the notion to another level. For the ultra-prolific 56-year-old workhorse, his 100th feature is executed with “business as usual” craftsmanship. Miike’s first samurai film since “Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai” (2011) and “Thirteen Assassins” (2010) marks a clear departure from the measured classicism of those two films. Instead, the story of a Wolverine-like swordsman with the capacity to self-heal delves into an aesthetic of pain, showing a twisted fascination in the hero’s bloody gashes and mutilations.

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