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Yojimbo (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on March 27, 2010

I’ve been re-evaluating my stance on Kurosawa lately.  While I still love a lot of his work, he also did a number of films that aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and I’ve been selling off some of the ones I’m not too crazy about.  But this will always have a proud spot in my collection.  It’s one of the most entertaining movies around, and moves like fucking gangbusters.  It’s got to be one of the best-paced there is, and makes 110 minutes feel like about half an hour.  It’s just so much goddamn fun, and Mifune is an absolute joy to watch.  Like most of the great action heroes, he relies on his skill as a warrior when necessary, but prefers to use his wits.  The technical aspects are impeccable, with perfect compositions (there are too many instances of genius framing to list) and a really enjoyable score.  There are only a couple of things that bug me.  The eccentric manner in which Tatsuya Nakadai waggles his pistol around from inside his shirt is… weird and wrong.  It’s definitely an unusual idiosyncrasy, but it just ends up looking silly.  Also silly: Daisuke Kato’s puffy-cheeked, buck-tooth expressions.  These are obviously miniscule complaints.  It’s still one of Kurosawa’s finest works.  Rating: 10


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