Friday, October 2, 2015
LA EigaFest 2015: Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends Review: Unfair fight for the boss
Rurouni Kenshin, just speed up! Oh, wait now slow down for the final battle. The final film in the trilogy finally washes on the shore much like Kenshin himself. It's all about the final battle for me, forget the betrayal, forget the love, I want a battle! Swords, ninjas and good ol' Sanosuke, played by Munetaka Aoki, hitting people. Oh, it takes time, a long time. It's worth it for a four against one fight!
Kenshin, played by Takeru Satoh, washes on shore from the last film. He's going to learn he's ultimate technique from his master. That's going to taking montages and flashbacks. At the same time the baddest man who had his skin burned off, Shishio, has forced the Japanese government to put Kenshin on wanted posters for his previous crimes. Kenshin, just won't die like Shishio planned. To buy time the government agrees and eventually grabs Kenshin. Not before Kenshin fights the powerful ninja Aoshi Shinomori (Yusuke Iseya) who is really a stepping stone to show how much Kenshin has progressed. Soon he's caught by the government and is to publicly executed in front of Shishio's iron ship that's been threatening Japan. Kenshin manages to escape and has Sanosuke, Shinomori and tough-as-nails cop, Hajime Saito (Yosuke Eguchi) head with him on the iron ship. Karou is alive too, she'll be there as ancillary character that's not in the fight.
Now comes the battles. Your favorite characters from the anime and manga come to life on screen to bring the break down in a series of boss fights. I apologize for not naming all the bosses, so many battles take place at the end. Sanosuke is up against a powerful Buddhist monk who seems to fear no pain. Hajime slashes through a worthy opponent. Kenshin is up against the murderous Soujiro Seta, he killed his own family and kicked his Kenshin's last time.
Not this time! Kenshin and his crew are ready as the clean the ship of it's actual ship crew. Efficiently, almost robotically Kenshin takes out floors and floors of enemies expending little effort...until Shishio knocks him down.
Shishio becomes a legendary boss fight as he takes down Kenshin easily, then Sanouske and Shinomori and Hajime. This four on one fight just shows how powerful Shishio is. He man handles and scoffs at all the other fighters, never letting up and bragging. The scene fight choreography should be praised as four of the most powerful fighters in the film can't make one ounce of damage. It's like going into a boss battle way to early in a game.
In the end it does come down to Kenshin and Shishio and it's a hard fought battle for the winner.
ONE OK ROCK's song "Heartache" from their newest album, 35xxxv, ends the film for no reason. Oh, wait because Japan has strange deals with how music connects to films.
Just like the previous films in the series you can't deny the sword fights and choreography, you can get angry about the pacing. It's slow, you'll have to have a samurai fortitude to sit through it for that ending. An ending well worth it for a boss fight we usually get only once a Summer in America.
For fans or for those who can eventually skip to the end you'll want to see the Rurouni Kenshin's legend end.
*As of writing this, you can't buy or stream any of the films legally in America unless you want to import and those are usually bad subtitles.