THE STORY:I was in the mood for a chop sockey flick. But this one was different from what I thought it would be. It was damn good, though.
Lone Wolf is the chief executioner for an evil Shogun in medieval Japan. He's so good that the shogun fears him. The shogun executes a lot of people so he's not really popular. Afraid that Lone Wolf will turn on him, the shogun sends ninjas to kill him. The ninjas fail to kill Lone Wolf but murder his wife. This makes Lone wolf long for vengeance. He exterminates a bunch of the Shogun's men. The shogun tells him he will grant him his freedom if he can defeat his number one son Kurondo in combat. Lone Wolf does so by tying his baby son, Cub to his back and affixing a mirror to his head. During the fight (which lasts about six seconds) the mirror reflects sunlight into Kurondo's face, blinding him long enough for Lone Wolf to give him a haircut from the neck up.
Unfortunately, the evil shogun announces that Lone Wolf may be free, but his son, Cub, is forfeit. Yeah, right. Like a guy that iced twenty guys by himself, while carrying a baby in arm is going to take that. The shogun's other son and a bunch of guys try to kill Lone Wolf and end up being sliced into bits. Lone Wolf and Cub travel the land always on the look out for ninjas who want to do them in. The shogun hires lady ninjas to kill Lone Wolf, but they also meet the same fate. The sheer speed and deadliness of Lone Wolf is amazing. I don't know why any sane person would want to challenge him. I mean, he's killed about a few hundred guys...and lady ninjas...single-handedly!
Lone Wolf takes a job to assassinate the Shogun's brother. But to do so he must defeat three expert killers, called the Masters of Death. These guys are pretty deadly. One fights with a metal claw, one with spiked gloves and one with a club. Too bad that didn't mean anything to Lone Wolf. He slices one of their heads in half! Of course he winds up killing the Masters of Death (I guess their mastery wasn't too complete.) and the shogun's brother.
This movie was great! There's only a few instances where the characters do some amazing but impossible stunts like you usually see in these movies...the action is, while maybe not completely realistic, exciting. (and I don't know if its realistic or not...I mean I haven't seen to many real life samurai fights!) The movie is narrated by Cub. Definitely a great movie, like a western made in medieval Japan.
Best Lines:"I am the Supreme Ninja!"- The leader of the lady ninja announces herself to Lone Wolf.
"Your technique is magnificent....when cut across the neck a sound like wailing winter winds is heard...I'd always hoped to cut someone like that one day, to hear that sound. But to have it happen to my own neck is ridiculous...."- The last Master of Death that Lone Wolf kills speaks before he gushes blood all over the place from his neck wound. Amazingly he can kind of speak when his neck is cut open.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.)There's no question that Lone Wolf is the most proficient killer in all Japan. When the evil shogun sends his men after him at the start of the movie, he kills about twenty or so dudes while carrying his infant son! The baby doesn't even cry! He's just that good!
2.)Yikes! In order to prove how bad they are, the lady ninjas challenge one of the shogun's strongest men. In short order they literally slice this poor schmuck into ribbons! Seriously. They carve this guy up like a Christmas turkey within seconds.
3.)Lone Wolf always hits a major artery when he's killin' dudes....almost everyone he kills spurts a lot of blood like a high pressure hose.
4.)In an attempt to get himself and Cub off the burning boat, Lone Wolf throws the baby carriage with the child in it, overboard. Only by sheer chance and the fact that its in the script, the carriage doesn't flip and turn in the air dumping the child into the ocean....but then, he may just be that damn good. When one of the Masters of Death asks Lone Wolf to return his knife he throws it across a room and right into its sheath!
NUDITY AND SEX:Cub is seen breastfeeding before his mother is killed. Lone Wolf and another woman strip out of wet clothes and huddle for warmth.
HUH?:Whoa! When the Lady Ninja tries to retreat, she leaps out of her dress and runs away backwards. In any other movie it would be silly. In this one its pretty cool.
Given the ease and speed that Lone Wolf is able to turn his enemies into chop suey, you'd think the Shogun would just say "Okay, I'll just [unwrite]in' leave him alone!" After all, he must have lost around four hundred men to this guy! I say that because in the middle of the film (Its narrated in cub's voice) Cub says he counts the number of men his father has killed so he'll know how many souls to pray for...at this point its about 345 ninjas. Jeez. Not even The Terminator killed that many guys!
I'm not real clear on this but I think the Shogun only wanted Lone Wolf dead because he was afraid of him..Well, he had good reason. Lone Wolf is without a doubt, the deadliest man in the world...but he worked for the Shogun and probably would never have turned on him (he seems to be a man of honor) if the Shogun hadn't sent ninjas to kill him....and succeed in only killing his wife. Obviously that pissed Lone Wolf off....but when Lone Wolf earns his freedom by killing the Shogun's son in a duel, the evil Shogun says that Cub's life is forfeit and demands that Lone Wolf gives up the boy. Now how stupid is that!? The Shogun obviously knows that Lone Wolf is superduper dangerous...why antagonize him even more!? I'd cut my losses and leave the guy alone. Hell, I'd try to get him back on my side! He'd be the best bodyguard in the world!
THE TALLY:Very, very good movie! If you're a fan of martail arts/ swordplay movies you can't go wrong by watching this. Its paced just right so theres no parts in it where you'll be bored, and you can pretty much understand everything that's going on. Definitely a kick ass movie!