A fair enough jidai-geki, but one that embraces kooky exaggeration and metaphysical hyperbole to a distracting and perhaps embarrassing degree. A recent subsection of these Japanese blockbusters (...Yamamoto, Eien no zero, Goemon, this, so on) are also creeping ever-so-slightly to a conservative Japanese Nationalism, which is a troubling undercurrent. Here it just doesn't make sense.
"Rurouni Kenshin" is an anime adaptation that appears to wear its source material on its sleeve, in that it feels like a collection of hyperreal, over-the-top characters brought to life - as well as a genuine struggle to condense several episodes worth of a program into one 134 minute feature. The result is admirable, however, with flashy action sequences and a strong visual palette that recalls "Batman Begins."
For anime-adapted live action, this is great. Usually--well at least the ones I watched--those films looked like a cosplay act that filled with bad casts. This one adapted RuroKen very well, with its own interpretation of the characters. However, the film works when you know the original anime/manga story. For those who not...it's quite a mess, though with nice visual and good depiction of the post Bakumatsu era.
Probably easier to follow if you're familiar with the manga or anime, but I wasn't too lost just through general genre familiarity. Fairly ordinary story elevated by good performances and action (though too much in the Western close ups and quick cuts style). The movie is notable though for its beauty. I enjoyed simply looking at it so much I may be a little forgiving of shortcomings but, really, a gorgeous movie.
reliving lots and lots of fond memories of anime kenshin and OVA kenshin, has both the storylines of anime and OVA flashback cramped to a 2 hour+ movie, pretty vexing battle scenes, wondering what the heck is the camera they use to produce such mediocre high speed effect, really bad lighting, wondering if it's all intentional or not, three stars only for the perfect kenshin and for the nostalgia :D :D