Saturday, January 20, 2007

Movie Log: Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx is the second in the series of six movies made in Japan in the early '70s from the manga series of the same name by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.

I liked the first one quite a bit, so I figured I'd run through the rest -- they also all seem to clock in just under ninety minutes, which is nice.

This one also adapts some specific stories, but I'm not going to try to track them all down in the twenty-eight volumes of Lone Wolf and Cub, since I don't think anyone really cares. There are three major stories adapted here, I think -- one where Ogami Itto battles a family of female ninjas, one where he's feverish and holed up in a shack, and one where he fights three samurai brothers to kill an informer.

The kid who plays Daigoro is still amazing -- he can't be more than three, but he's either completely natural or actually acting. (According to IMDB, his name is Akihiro Tomikawa, and he appeared in these six movies as Daigoro, and nothing else.) The rest of the cast is at least solid, as far as I can tell without being able to understand a word anyone says.

But this movie felt a bit more like a pedestrian action movie than Sword of Vengeance did; there are a lot of scenes of flashing swords, spurting blood, and dropping body parts, but it didn't add up to as much as the first book did. It's funny, but the violence is actually more comic-booky in a movie than on a comics page -- as strokes of ink, it has a stylized, designed look that keeps it from seeming quite as dumb as red fountains of blood. Still, I think I'll keep going, since there's interesting stuff going on here.

No comments:

Post a Comment