Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno: Movie Review

Recently, we have been plagued by saga enders that are separated into two part films. Honestly, we aren't fans of the trend mostly because these films, especially the first ones, are highly-imbalanced. Thankfully, "Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (Kyoto Taika-hen)" isn't one of those. The film is well-balanced giving a middle film that is truly justified and the perfect stepping stone to a seemingly epic conclusion.

Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato) became a legendary swordsman during the wars accompanying the turbulent fall of Japan's Shogunate in the 19th century. Once feared as 'Battosai the Killer', he has adopted a peaceful life since the arrival of the 'new age'. But Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), the 'Shadow Killer' and successor to Kenshin's position as the deadly assassin, has since been plotting to take over the new regime. Agreeing to a request by the new government to defeat Shishio, Kenshin leaves his beloved ones in Tokyo and sets out for Kyoto. He and Shishio are a match in skill and in wits, but their aims are opposite Destruction for Shishio and Peace for Kenshin. Can Kenshin preserve the nation without breaking his vow that he will kill no more?

"Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno" features a balance of a meaty story and hyper-kinetic fight scenes that truly show off the incredible skills of Battosai. The film, being the middle child of a three-part saga, feels perfectly in place. It explains enough to make new viewers understand what's happening and has a massive and interesting cliffhanger to set-up a sure to be action-filled third film. What really grabbed our attention though is the choreography. It was fast, furious and feels authentic. Most importantly though, every punch, kick and swipe of the sword was crisp and clear unlike what we usually get with the regular Hollywood releases. Story-wise, things roll around in a leisurely pace but never did we feel over-burdened by it. In fact, we found ourselves engrossed trying to understand the culture of a wanderer. Honestly though, some elements do get weird at times but we guess it comes with the Japanese flair. Overall, we highly-recommend "Rurounin Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno" with its rich characters, deep story and intense choreography to boot.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the choreography was fast, furious and intense
- the film has rich, unique characters that will engross you with their different nuances
- feels perfectly fit for a middle film in a three part saga

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- elements do get weird at times but it was probably due to cultural differences and nothing big

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