Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends: Movie Review

Given how great the second film turned out, we expected more success heading into "Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends". This is the final film in the series and we anticipated more action in terms of sword fights and cunning choreography - aspects that we really loved the last time. While the film ensures we get amazing doses of those from time to time, the film's actual slow pace was a complete shocker. More so, it fails to build upon the remarkable momentum it got with "Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno" which feels less polished than its predecessors in a lot of ways.

Kenshin Himura (Takeru Satoh) is a legendary swordsman in 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 a deadly assassin, has since then been scheming in the Kyoto underworld, raising an army of disaffected former samurais with the aim of overthrowing the new regime. With Kenshin failing to stop Shishio the first time they met, he must find what's lacking in his technique to have a chance at stopping Shishio. With the help of his old master, Kenshin may just find what he is looking for.

First things first, "Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends" will satiate your thirst for some extremely entertaining fight scenes which we can confidently say has become a trademark of the film series. Each fight has its own character with stunning choreography in tow. While we highly-praised all of the fight scenes in "Kyoto Inferno", "The Legend Ends" wasn't as perfect. Some duels were still memorable (even better than those that came from previous outings) but others felt rushed not only in terms of their length but also how these fights were composed. And this is probably the overall sentiment we have for "The Legend Ends" It seems less polished in more than one aspect. The story for example, while feeling slowly paced also feels rushed at the same time. Certain characters just disappear or not appear at all which, you can easily deduce, is disappointing and jolting. it's not all bad news though as the story itself had its special moments (Kenshin learning from his master again) and the acting is simply outstanding. While we still loved how "The Legend Ends" turned out, we can't stop thinking that they could have capped the trilogy in a much better fashion.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- stunning choreography; a trademark of the series
- amazing acting

Why you shouldnt' watch it:
- feels less polished in a lot of aspects

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