This will not be a film for everyone. But for the few who want to see how crazy long a one-take battle between one samurai and four hundred enemies can get, you better be prepared. The more enemies get killed, the more keep coming but that also means moves start to become repetitive. It’s definitely made for a niche viewer. Most audiences will probably get tired themselves long before this samurai does. It’s literally a battle marathon.

(Source: Fantasia Film Festival)

Crazy Samurai Musashi was directed and choreographed by Yuji Shimomura. It stars Tak Sakaguchi as legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in his most grueling battle. Exhausted beyond belief, he takes on hundreds of members of the Yoshioka school out for revenge. The central piece is a 77-minute long take of the huge battle. I would say that’s both the appeal and the crux of the film. Only certain audiences will be willing to keep watching.

Overwhelming odds are one thing. The countless hordes of combatants are another. Casual moviegoers might miss the appeal, but I found myself enthralled, then tired and then rejuvenated as Mushashi does not give up nor he gives in to extreme physical exhaustion. However, I don’t believe the experience will be the same for everyone. Shamefully, the only parallel I can draw here for the contemporary viewer is the video game scenario. Facing endless hordes of enemies spawning from every corner does get tiresome. Since the camera does not switch, you end up recognizing there’s only so much techniques that exists before they repeat again and again.

Recommended only for fans of the genre that are as willing to take on as many endless streams of enemies as Musashi himself. Casual audiences might find it an exercise in frustration as there’s just so much swordfighting that exists before attacks become repetitive. However, if you’re itching for all the katana hack-and-slash buffet you can have, this will be a test of your limits. This one is for fans of sword fighting exclusively.

That will do for now.