Emily Mody - Blade of the Immortal

Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 06:00 PM

Blade of the Immortal

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Blade of the Immortal is a feature length narrative film directed by Takashi Miike. The story follows a samurai named Manji (played by Takuya Kimura). He becomes cursed with immortality after winning a battle of insurmountable odds. After that fateful day and fifty years of isolation, he agrees to help a young girl, named Rin (played by Hana Sugisaki), avenge her parents. Rin reminds Manji of his younger sister who was brutally killed in front of him. Through their relationship, Manji is able to heal old wounds and attest for his past sins.

This type of film is always interesting to me because usually the story will combine the physicality of the fight scenes with spiritual or mystical elements. One is not separate from the other like you would find in a typical action film that focuses solely on physical fight scenes. These aspects were very well balanced in Blade of the Immortal. The acting was superb. I find this to be something that can be a bit hit or miss with samurai films. Usually the actors have to be very highly skilled fighters so the emotional aspects of the story have a tendency to suffer. This was definitely not the case in Blade of the Immortal however. I found every emotional beat to be very sincere and authentic.

For me, the natural comparison that comes to mind is the film Hero directed by Yimou Zhang. This film follows a man who goes by Nameless and is called by the King of Qin to tell the story of how he managed to kill three highly skilled fighters. The two films are very similar in their overall feel. Blade of the Immortal contains more supernatural elements however. The whole story is based around Manji who is literally immortal and therefore cannot die while fighting despite how careless his character becomes. Nameless, on the other hand, is simply a highly skilled fighter and is much grounded in his technique. The cinematography in the two films cannot be compared if I am being honest. Hero is so beautiful to look at it almost hurts. Very few films can compete with that level of cinematography though. If you enjoyed the story and action segments of Hero, you will most likely enjoy Blade of the Immortal as well.

I would highly recommend this film to people who enjoy the typical samurai film and are not triggered by the aspects mentioned above. If you do not like action films that contain supernatural or spiritual elements however, I would probably steer clear of this one. Overall, this is a good film that gives you both the excitement of an action film and the thought provoking qualities of a good drama.

Blade of the Immortal runs a total of 140 minutes. It is rated R for violence, gore, and sexual violence. It will be screening across Canada starting on Nov 17, 2017.

Calgary Showtimes: Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no jûnin) >

Media courtest of Pacific Northwest Pictures


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.