An intriguing and entertaining Samurai film to watch where bullets and swords, loyalty and betrayal run parallel to dynamic plot. Two wandering strangers arrive in a town seeking food and encounter a dispute between two clans. It’s odd pair of samurai, where one is disillusioned samurai with a past, the other is wannabe noble samurai. Their constant sweeping of sides between two rebel clans keeps the film in an interesting flow. The film has violent and brutal sword action but it’s not out and out samurai action. Along with edgy action, quirky humor go hand by hand throughout the film. And yes, it has interesting characters to watch further.
The film bears so much resemblance between Leone’s ‘A Fistful of Dollars’. The title score and background of Masuro Sato sounds so much like Morricone, its opening wide shot where a stranger ronin facing lonely town amid wild storm seeking food encounters another weird samurai also seems like a scene of Leone film. The film also bears so much resemblance to Kurosawa’s ‘Sanjuro’ and it mocks the status of Samurai by making him lurking between ridiculous idiot and smart ass. Like Mifune’s interesting queer characters in ‘Yojimbo’ and ‘Sanjuro’, Tatsuya Nakadai's Gento is a smart ass samurai to watch. Kihachi Okamoto playfully pulled the genre and source borrowed from elements of conventional samurai cinema and Italian Spaghetti westerns and it almost gave me combined pleasure of western meets samurai.