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2014 Movie Review - Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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To those who are not aware of this character, Rurouni Kenshin is a Japanese manga character. He is potrayed as a top swordsman, having killed countless people under the Shogunate.
 
After winning the war and under the current Meiji government, Kenshin retired from the killing. In his former life, he is known as Battousai.

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The movie Kyoto Inferno is a sequel to the 2012 movie of the same character name. In this sequel, it starts off with the police led by Hajime Saito (Yosuke Eguchi), going after the highly skilled killer, Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara).

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Shishio is a top killer that took over Kenshin's place after he left. However, Shishio was betrayed by the government due to his ruthless ways. He was supposed to be killed by the government soldiers and burned. However, Shishio survived the horrific event but has to be wrapped in bandages, making him look like a mummy.
 
After this incident, Shishio grew in strength and recruited an army with his top men, known as the Ten Swords. This movie seeks to explore the true nature of Kenshin and his coming to grips with his past that doesn't seem to let go.
 
He's faced with the difficult decision to go to Kyoto and confront Shishio. In the end, he decides to go and defends Kyoto from Shishio's men. 
 
Along the way from Tokyo to Kyoto, Kenshin encounters several incidents which shapes the next course of his action and his love interest, Kaoru Kamiya (Emi Takei) and Sanosuke Agara (Munetaka Aoki) also joins him in this endeavour to save Kyoto.

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There's also a side story where a former soldier seeks Kenshin for revenge which coincides with a group of ninjas staying in Kyoto helping Kenshin.

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In summary, this movie is fast and furious action. While the sword-fighting isn't particularly impressive, the struggle between killer and pacifist holds up well in the potrayal of Kenshin by Takeru Sato.
 
Watchability : 6 / 10 - this is not the end. Please catch the final installment in The Legend Ends as this movie still leaves a lot of unfinished endings.

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Cast :
Takeru Satô     ...     Kenshin Himura
Emi Takei     ...     Kaoru Kamiya
Tatsuya Fujiwara     ...     Makoto Shishio
Yôsuke Eguchi     ...     Hajime Saito
Yûsuke Iseya     ...     Aoshi Shinomori
Munetaka Aoki     ...     Sanosuke Sagara
Yû Aoi          ...     Megumi Takani
Ryûnosuke Kamiki     ...     Sojiro Seta
Tao Tsuchiya     ...     Makimachi Misao
Min Tanaka     ...     Kashiwazaki Nenji
Kazufumi Miyazawa...     Toshimichi Ookubo
Yukiyoshi Ozawa     ...     Ito Hirobumi
Ken'ichi Takitô     ...     Sadojima Hoji
Ryosuke Miura     ...     Sawagejo Cho
 
References :

2014 Movie Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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In 2014, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or TMNT in short) is no longer the cute cuddly ninja turtles that I used to watch last time.
 
These new turtles are big, muscular and taller than humans. While they appear to carry the characteristic unique to each turtle, this turtles are a different bunch. Splinter seems to be the same old sensei that tries very hard to discipline his 'sons' but as with all teenagers, it's a difficult task.

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April O'Neil (Megan Fox) is the reporter who tracks the villain group Foot Clan and discovers the turtles. She helps them in their quest to defeat Shredder, head of the Foot Clan. Whoopi Goldberg plays April's editor, Bernadette Thompson.
 
It also seems that Splinter and the turtles mutation had something to do with Project Renaissance that April's father was working on with another colleague, Eric Sacks.  

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Shredder is also a meaner looking bad-ass villain here and assisted by Sacks (yes he is a baddie) , he aims to spread the mutagen that mutated the turtles over the city. Sacks develop the cure so Shredder can sell it.
 
The final showdown occurs in Sacks building where Shredder aims to release the mutagen and of course the ninja turtles are there to save the day.
 
Watchability : 3 / 10 - Overall, the movie is below my expectations as it just did not possess the same fun and excitement that the previous TMNT movies had.

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Cast :
Megan Fox     ...     April O'Neil
Will Arnett     ...     Vernon Fenwick
William Fichtner     ...     Eric Sacks
Alan Ritchson     ...     Raphael
Noel Fisher     ...     Michelangelo
Pete Ploszek     ...     Leonardo
Johnny Knoxville     ...     Leonardo (voice)
Jeremy Howard     ...     Donatello
Danny Woodburn     ...     Splinter
Tony Shalhoub     ...     Splinter (voice)
Tohoru Masamune     ...     Shredder
 
References :

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