Director: Takashi Miike
Year Released: 2004
Demonic super-samurai carves his way through multiple generations, unbeatable and insatiable, able to get shot through the head, carved open and impaled but storm on anyway. The repetitious and droning violence reaches critical mass early on, and though the film never runs out of unique ways to show people getting massacred - which is all they're good for, really - the "larger point," about how history is little more than brutal violence, renders history as being banal instead of recognizing that violence is a tool to expand empires, vanquish 'inferior' religions, defend land, control the masses, solve ideological disputes and so on ... ideas which are not expanded upon. Miike's video game aesthetic is certainly energized, but film watching is a passive experience - whereas video gaming is a more active one, working - at its very best - as a cathartic experience and/or cerebral challenge (most good video games require constant decision making and riddle solving on behalf of the gamer) - the experience of watching this is like standing next to someone else mashing away at the controller's buttons. Fun for Miike, not for me.