Sunday, 16 November 2014

Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno

FINALLY!!! I finally got to watch this movie after a month of excruciating wait, which almost made me did some crazy stuffs while waiting. This movie (and its sequel) came out about a month ago in Japan and almost everywhere else in Asia except my home country in Malaysia. I gave Malaysia the benefit of doubt as I waited because there was a source saying that the release date is to be announced. However, after several weeks, I was quite confident that this movie will not be released in Malaysia. I actually planned to go all the way to Singapore just to watch this movie. Unfortunately, some stuffs happened and I didn't managed to go to Singapore. I was quite sad actually. I would not settle for watching this movie on home video. I must watch it on the big screen no matter what. Fortunately however, I found out that this movie in fact will be releasing in my local cinemas pretty soon. And so I continue to wait and wait and wait...

So here it is finally! The movie that I anticipated the most... And I love it! ^^

The law of insignificant villains states that
the greater the number of bad guys, the more insignificant
and more useless they are.
Title: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika Hen

What is it about: War and revenge, and also about Himura Battousai of course! XD

Review: Firstly, I'll be the first to admit that this movie isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you haven't already know, this movie is actually a sequel to a Rurouni Kenshin movie back in 2012. Unlike the first movie, this movie is much more elaborate and complex. Just a recap, the first movie talks about the war that brought about the peaceful Meiji era (Search up Battle of Toba-Fushimi if you care about history), how the Hitokiri Battousai became a Rurouni, etc. Yeah, I know your head is starting to spin from all those Japanese jargon. Basically, it's about how Kenshin retire from being an assassin to become a wanderer. The story also tells of how Kenshin and Kaoru met and stuffs like that. I'm pretty sure you know who they are and what's happening. In the first movie, the villains are simply some ex-samurai who doesn't enjoy the peaceful era. In the latest movie however, things aren't so simple. As a result, this movie is almost 2 and a half hours long, and it's only the first part. Another sequel which is a direct continuation of this movie is releasing soon (in my terribly slowpoke country. You've watched it already, so spoilers please! >.<).

So, what is this movie about? While the first movie is pretty straight-to-the-point, it's not so much the case in this movie. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno takes its time to slowly and carefully develop the storyline and the many characters it introduces. As a result, the characters in this movie talks more than they fight. That's not necessary a bad thing however. Being a Rurouni Kenshin movie, when they do fight, it's pretty damn good! I don't want to give out too much of a spoiler just in case there are people who hasn't got the chance to watch it yet, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno basically talks about an evil samurai's plan to overthrow the Meiji government and take over the whole of Japan. What makes it different from the first movie is that in the first, Kenshin is to stop a few samurai from causing a havoc. In this however, Kenshin is downright going for war. In Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, there are loads of war plotting and battle of wits. Sometimes, brainfights can be just as interesting as swordfights.

Before we proceed, there are some characters that you'll need to know amidst the many new characters introduced. To most important one being Shishio Makoto the main villain of this movie. Don't worry, I won't spoil the story for you, but what you must know is that Shishio is a really evil, intelligent, cunning, ruthless and powerful guy both in terms of strength and political power. Just imagine, this one guy with his fleet of samurai, waging war against the whole country. He did managed to control some parts of Japan, destroying many villages in the process. He even managed to push the government to desperation to the point that they have no choice but to put Japan's fate in the hands on Himura Kenshin. Yeah, hes really bad. The point that I wanted to make is that he's so bad and Himura Kenshin is having such a tough time dealing with Shishio that they won't be fighting each other in this movie. Like in a video game, Kenshin has not reached the final boss yet. Yes, in the whole 2 and a half hours, Kenshin and Shishio has never fought even once. Kenshin is merely trying to do some damage control protecting some people and fighting some of Shishio's men while trying to outwit Shishio's strategies. That said, if you are the type of people who enjoys storytelling, this movie is not necessarily bad. In fact, its far from bad. This movie is really really good. One of the things I really enjoyed in this movie is its sense of adventure, as though you are playing a Japanese role-play game. However, if you are the type who watches this movie solely for the action, well, there are much to be offered, but you'll have to wait for them.

To conclude, this is one of the best movies I've watched in the cinema. Maybe it's the fanboy in me that's screaming, but it definitely is worth your time and money. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno isn't exactly a perfect movie and watching it may require some patience and appreciation of story development so to speak, but it's most certainly movie of the year. I believe the sequel is going to be much more exciting than this. This movie did end in a cliffhanger with quite a few unanswered questions, and the suspense is really great. I guess they are done chasing each other in this movie. In the next, they are going for the kill. Good thing the next movie is only two weeks apart from the first. Otherwise, the suspense would have killed me like Shishio would. These two movies (in fact, all three Rurouni Kenshin movies) are definitely worth your investments. Just one thing though, try not to watch this movie in midnight like I did. You'll probably need to struggle a bit to stay awake because this movie does require your mind to process it. But hey, there's Kaoru! XD

Rating: 9.5/10

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