Blade of the Immortal, the 100th movie from Japanese action legend Takeshi Miike, now has a brutal bloodbath of a red band trailer. To round off his century-worth of sensational cinematic swordplay, Miike has adapted Hiroaki Samura’s manga of the same name. Takuya Kimura (Hero, Howl’s Moving Castle) stars as Manji, an unkillable warrior who’s called into action to avenge a young girl’s father.
The film comes at a time where relations between eastern culture and Hollywood are somewhat strained. The recent adaptation of Ghost in the Shell garnered whitewashing criticisms for casting Scarlett Johansson as its protagonist, despite keeping the original manga’s Japanese setting. Doctor Strange was similarly criticized for casting Tilda Swinton as the Tibetan mentor figure The Ancient One. And, most recently, Ed Skrein backed out of Hellboy after realizing that his character is meant to have Japanese heritage.
Clearly, none of this drama has fazed Takeshi Miike. The writer/director, who’s known for the epic samurai flick 13 Assassins among many other films, has pulled together a stellar Japanese cast, with talented youngster Hana Sugisaki starring alongside the action icon/cultural phenomenon Takuya Kimura. Judging by this highly impressive trailer (see above), they both had a lot of fun with the epic action and inter-character banter.
This Blade of the Immortal trailer does a great job at selling audiences on the film's concept and introduces the main players in style, without wasting any time. There’s plentiful space left over for hero shots, gratuitous bloodletting, and coy teases of what's in store. And with the trailer comes a plot summary, which explains a little more about Manji’s backstory and his trajectory in the movie:
“Samurai Manji has taken a lot of lives, both innocent and guilty, and now lives life in feudal Japan as a criminal. After being cursed with immortality until he kills enough evil men, Manji meets a young girl who enlists him to be her body-guard. Swearing loyalty, protection and vengeance against the group of sword fighters who slaughtered her family, the unlikely duo set on a remarkable quest to make right against those who did them wrong.”
To draw an obligatory western comparison, it’s easy to see some similarities to Deadpool here: Manji is a criminal that receives the unwanted gift of immortality, and he ends up using it for a personal vendetta. There’s even some chopping off of hands in the trailer, and some impressive visual effects work to go with it. Blade of the Immortal boasts a fun and familiar plot, bloody battles, top of the line visuals, a great cast, and one of the best action directors of all time - there’s little reason to not be hyped for this film.
Blade of the Immortal makes its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX, which runs September 21-28. It begins a regular theatrical release on November 3.
Source: Magnet Releasing