Kamui

2009 [JAPANESE]

Action / Drama

1
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 1047

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 22, 2021 at 05:10 AM

Director

Cast

Hideaki Itô as Fudo
Koyuki as Sugaru
Suzuka Ohgo as Sayaka
720p.BLU
1.08 GB
1280*688
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx 5 / 10

Appealing CGI-festooned lone ninja tale

This is a film about a ninja called Kamui who decides he doesn't want to be a ninja anymore, problem is, you're not allowed to leave. So death in all it's forms is going to come for Kamui throughout this film. This spawns the familiar trope of the hero who stays alive but gets everyone around him, including his loved ones, killed (like the hardboiled American cop who goes through a fistful of partners as if they were dimes for the telephone). Kamui reminds me of a deciduous tree, the trunk of which remains strong and constant, but whose leaves eventually wilt and abscice. The bounteous autumnal melange of colours preceding the winter barrenness.

It's chambara here all the way, and as it's very ambitious, it's often CGId - wire work can only take you so far in the arena of awesome stunts. The fighters here have really pretty much supernatural skills that make Crouching Tiger look positively undercooked. There's some fun stuff that Kamui fights with, including a knuckleduster with triangular ridges, that can be used for parrying sword blows (though you'd better be pretty accurate with those parries...)

As Kamui (Ken'ichi Matsuyama) is a really rather sullen character, who has appeal more as a heartthrob to potential androphile members of the audience, much of the ready humour in the film is delegated to supporting actors including Kaoru Kobayashi (as Hanbei the fisherman), and Hideaki Ito (as Lord Fudoh, the incredibly appealing and roguish pirate captain).

There's a side story in the movie about a gaily apparelled and brutally petulant daimyo lord. The stories do crossover, but I think the daimyo strand is more there for contrast, the kind of easy god-like existence of the highly undeserving daimyo, with the bleak struggle to survive of Kamui. After all the main threat for Kamui is the ninja fraternity, he's not even a speck on the daimyo's radar.

There's this thing in Japanese movies where they like to confront characters with a personal hell (one of the few Japanese words I regularly recognise in Japanese movies is jigoku - hell). There's a quite effective example of that in this movie.

All in all I would tend to say this movie overdoes the CGI, you can see stuff like waves that leave no filmy coating on surfaces after they recede, and you think hang on why are they using CGI for ... water. It is however highly enjoyable.

One last note is that someone behind the movie should learn a little bit more about shark behaviour maybe, the scenes with them in are funny, but they behave so stupidly and atypically here that it is a little bewildering, even within the encapsulated cinematic world of reduced realism.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 7 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Kamui

A tight schedule meant missing out on this at TIFFCOM last year, but I suppose the strength of popular Japanese actor Ken'ichi Matsuyama's name alone meant that it had a good chance of making it back to Singapore, and the full house this afternoon is just testament of that. Being the chameleon, Matsuyama makes quite an impression as the titular Fugitive Ninja who yearns for the freedom of his dream, but gets continuous hunted down by enemies who want a piece of him. So goes the martial arts world, where the only rule is to kill or be killed.

I haven't read the manga by Sampei Shirato on which Kamui is based on, but that shouldn't deter anyone game for a ninja flick. However, this is not like any conventional ninja film that I've grown accustomed to, and one of the prime reasons is that the exponents skilled in the art of ninjitsu don't wear black (just like how cliché it is when gangsters have to be decked out in black tie), but are decked in a variety of fancy garb that is functional to hide a multitude of weapons. For the uninitiated like me, you'll get the lowdown on our hero's origins through a series of battles which also serve to showcase his signature skills like Mist Kill, so that will bring you up to speed on things, and whet your appetite for more conflicts to come so that Kamui gets a reason to unsheathe his sword.

The story however turns out to be quite episodic in nature, since Kamui has the legs for an extended franchise of films, and this one being but a snapshot of his life on the run. It's extremely miserable because there is nobody Kamui can trust, and whenever he gets comfortable with someone, they fall to their demise, like a curse that he and his loved one cannot escape from. Such is the nature of this story, making him quite the cynic with a profound taste of mistrust toward anyone, being on the run in both literal and figurative terms. But an encounter with a fisherman Hanbei (Kaoru Kobayashi) who had just chopped off the leg of a horse belonging to a nobleman (see if you can spot Anna Tsuchiya from Sakuran in a role without dialogue!) brings Kamui to Henta's fishermen village, and here he meets an enemy from the past (played by Koyuki of The Last Samurai fame, and last seen in Blood the Last Vampire) and a potential to change his life for the better through a loved one in Sayaka (Suzuka Ohgo), Henta's daughter.

With a runtime of two hours, the story admittedly does get a little bloated as we explore the themes of family and that sense of belonging, before it picks up through the introduction of a group of pirates led by Fudo (Hideaki Ito). For some reason there's this very violent attitude and nature toward animals in the film, and although everything is vividly CG-ed with incredible detail, shark lovers may be up in arms over how they get violently depicted (think Jaws with more murderous intent), and then callously dispatched through dismemberment and bludgeoning to the skull. That aside, humans too get killed in quite graphic methods since everyone kills without remorse as a means to survive.

Thankfully the fight action choreography is top notch. For those tired of quick cuts and edits, or angles that get just too close for comfort and clarity, the techniques here, although spruced up with some wirework and CG, satisfies in abundance. Sensible angles and camera-work allow you to witness battles as if you get ring side seats, and the action gets progressively better, culminating in the final showdown between Kamui and his chief enemy here (no, I won't reveal who), which is a delight to watch, and frankly, I'd watch this show again just to partake in another round of the beautifully designed final fight.

Ekin Cheng has a bit role here, although I'm not quite sure what value he adds to the story since he didn't actually get to see much action, other than to assure audiences that he'll probably get more screen time should a follow up film be made. A passable story that I think its manga followers will get a kick out of, with outstanding CG work to bring to life a period world with fantastic pugilists.

Reviewed by ebiros2 5 / 10

Modern rendition of Sanpei Shirato's famous ninja comic

Based on a comic by Sanpei Shirato, Kamui is about a tale of ninja fugitive that survives because of his exceptional ninpo skills. The movie was made with Shirato and Kamui fans in mind and although synopsis of Kamui saga is given at the beginning of the movie, the movie in my opinion is not a true stand alone piece, and the audience would benefit from the knowledge of the original story.

Unlike other ninja, Kamui was born into an untouchable class, and then became ninja to gain the ability to survive. A long running series that has history of almost 50 years, Kamui is an unusual tale of a lone ninja who is an escapee from his ninja clan (which was act of treason punishable by death). For this reason he is perpetually being targeted by the members of his ninja clan.

Kamui's skill as ninja comes from his ability to invent his original method of combat tactics. Two famous tactics of his - "Izuna Otoshi" and "Heni Battou Kasumi Giri" is featured in this movie.

Sanpei Shirato has a very dark mood to his art and story, and this movie succeeds in capturing Shirato's style. CG of this movie has dynamics to it like never seen elsewhere. Especially the scenes with the sharks were superb. Details are vivid, and interactions between characters that was vague in the original comic is shown with new vigor. The character of Kamui also has more "human" aspect compared to the comic. Overall the movie succeeds in showing Kamui saga in a new light.

Watch the movie as cultural artifact from Japan. It's an uniquely original story where an outcast ninja while being tossed in the hands of fate, tries to find a place of peace in his life.

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