Monday, March 1, 2021

Crazy Samurai 400 vs 1 Review: A Marathon of Swordfighting

Directed by  Yûji Shimomura	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Atsuki Tomori	Cast (in credits order)   Tak Sakaguchi	Tak Sakaguchi	...	Musashi Miyamoto Kento Yamazaki	Kento Yamazaki	...	Chusuke Yôsuke Saitô	Yôsuke Saitô		 Ben Hiura	Ben Hiura		 Arata Yamanaka	Arata Yamanaka		 Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Fuka Hara	Fuka Hara		 Kôsei Kimura	Kôsei Kimura		 Nobu Morimoto	Nobu Morimoto		 Akihiko Sai	Akihiko Sai	...	Baiken Shishido Masaaki Takarai	Masaaki Takarai	...	Yoshioka clan

Release date: February 12, 2021 (Streaming), March 2, 2021 (Bluray and DVD)
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring: Tak Sakaguchi
Directed By: Yuji Shimomura 

When a master samurai arrives to duel the disgraced Yoshioka dojo, he walks into an ambush. In the world’s first 77-minute, one-take action film sequence, Miyamoto Musashi (Tak Sakaguchi) fights for his life against 400 warriors, earning a place in history as the CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI.

Produced by  Shinichi Fujita	...	producer Ota Takayuki	...	executive producerCinematography by  Yasutaka Nagano	Film Editing by  Shinichi Fujita	 Yûji Shimomura	Production Design by  Yûto Ohba	Set Decoration by  Nobuhiro Yamashita	Makeup Department  Midori Arai	...	Hair & Makeup Ryou Takahashi	...	Hair & Makeup Keishi Utu	...	Hair & MakeupSound Department  Toshihide Osada	...	Sound Recording Kenji Shibasaki	...	Sound Effects
Crazy Samurai is a cinematic marvel, with a 77-minute one-take action shot that really kind of has to be seen to be believed.  Musashi (Sakaguchi) takes on wave after wave of enemies as he tries to escape this camp and the surrounding area.  Every time he thinks he is home free, another wave of enemies swarms him and he has to fight his way out.  And this long action take is accompanied by some pounding music.  It gets your blood flowing to match the action (and blood on the screen) and varies as the battle goes on.  And the music really picks up to a crescendo later in the film, a treat for your eyes and ears.  The whole film has a classic Japanese cinema style that fits perfectly.  Characters are exaggerated and boast about their accomplishments, dialogue has an old school samurai delivery, and the whole thing feels like a throwback to earlier samurai movies.  

However, although the crowning (and impressive) achievement of this film is the 77-minute one-take shot, it also leads to the film feeling like a lot of the same.  Musashi has to fight wave after wave of enemies, and eventually the fights do feel similar.  There are hero type characters that appear occasionally, to break up the fighting and add some additional flair to the battle, but overall there is only so much one man and a sword can do against 400 enemies.  Musashi fights with a katana the entire time, which isn't a bad thing but does mean that there isn't a lot of weapon variety.  And the film strives for a more realistic fight style, which means that enemies are quickly dispatched and you don't have a long, drawn out sword battle.  And often times enemies will run right at him just to get cut down, looking like they are running right into the slaughter.  And at the start, the film has a lack of blood and effects that makes it look a little off.  You'll see a sword slash and a sound that makes it seem like the person was mortally wounded, but there is no accompanying blood spray or effect on the person.  The wounded enemy just covers their stomach or face and crawls away.  Now thankfully this gets better towards the end of the movie, with more effects thrown in and a faster-paced, more exciting fight, but the film takes a while to build up to that.  It is still an amazing cinematic feat and I can't imagine how much coordination and planning went into creating the sword fight, but it is something that can get repetitive after a while. 

Crazy Samurai 400 vs. 1 is a cinematic spectacle, with an insane 77-minute one-take shot and enough sword fighting action to please samurai and martial arts fans!

Rent it.

Costume and Wardrobe Department  Tae Amano	...	Wardrobe Mari Miyamoto	...	Wardrobe Sae Ueda	...	wardrobeMusic Department  Hidehiro Kawai	...	MusicAdditional Crew  Yasuyuki Atano	...	Production Management Ryosuke Fukuchi	...	VFX artist Yoshitaka Inagawa	...	Sword Play Hiromasa Inoue	...	VFX Producers Isao Kaneko	...	Assistant Director Isao Karasawa	...	Action Director Tsuyoshi Kazuno	...	VFX Producers Jun Kodama	...	Lighting Masahiro Soejima	...	Assistant Director Sion Sono	...	original story Junpei Tainaka	...	Still Photography Judd Taylor	...	acquisitions: Princ Films Sayumi Yamada	...	VFX Producers
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Crazy Samurai 400 vs 1 is available February 12, 2021 on streaming and March 2, 2021 on Bluray and DVD.

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