Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Ever since 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, there has been a steady flow of movies that toss together famous characters from different films just to see what would happen if they met. More often than not, these characters end up fighting one another – usually by mistake, but not always. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman, the twenty-second installment in the long-running Zatoichi series, does not deviate from this formula. But while the two famous characters do meet, and do eventually draw swords on one another, what’s covered in the distance between those two points is pretty compelling in its own right, a feat that separates Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman from the rest of the pack. Shintaro Katsu and Jimmy Wang Yu shine in this engaging tale of swordplay, mistaken identity, and cross-cultural (mis)understanding. My full review for the film can be read here.