The very idea of a film being centered around a 77-minute, one-take action sequence was immediately interesting to me.
I love the craft of filmmaking, and seeing directors tinker and challenge themselves is an amazing thing. Yûji Shimomura may want to make waves with his idea, but it just doesn’t make an entertaining film.
It follows a famous battle of Miyamoto Muyashi, who fights 588 enemies and defeats them in 1604. He attacked the Yoshioka family and duels hard.
The one-scene, no-cut action sequence is involving at first, but quickly devolves into the same moves, the same combat, and the same song and dance. Writer Atsuki Tomori had one of the easiest jobs in the world, because there’s not much to grab onto here.
It’s repetitive, and eventually becomes brutally boring, which is a death knell for an action feature.
Japanese actor Tak Sakaguchi gives his all as Musashi. You can completely see his tiredness as he plows through this take. He’s a born action star.
But try as he might, he can’t save a film that becomes intensely uninvolved flick. It’s. agreat effort, but it sinks under the weight of expectation.