The art of the moving image can produce an incredibly wide variety of inspiring tales or it can just provide for some fun, dumb action filled good time. "Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles" may never get screened for Academy consideration or at a Mensa meeting but it is a simple, straight ahead good time of an action flick.
Upon returning from a pilgrimage across Japan, the warrior Toramaru arrives with tales of seven epic battles against some of Japan's most legendary fighters. As Toramaru's philosophy dictates the he know the enemy by eating his food as each masterful fight is preceded by a helping of his prey's favorite dish. Designated the successor to Master Gensai and leading proponent of the all around martial arts discipline, The Cosmic Way, Toramaru tells the tales of the Seven Deadly Battles as Master Gensai eagerly listens to the details of his adventures only to learn things may not have gone exactly as initially planned.
From writer/director Takanori Tsujimoto, "Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles" is more or less as advertised, as it is just a silly, yet classically framed action film.
Never designed to be a thoughtful think piece, it's just a flat out high octane action romp. Director Tsujimoto doesn't lean on too much narrative, but the fight scenes are very well choreographed and it flows very very well. It almost plays like a tribute to the Shaw Brothers and kung fu movies of old, leaning more on the fun and the entertainment value rather than trying to tell a straight up more narrative based more on the action then on the spiritual and social benefits of the martial arts and the meaning of Bushido. It plays like a low budget popcorn movie, and while it's far from great it still kind of works.
Star Mitsuki Koga carries the action well enough as he travels across the land getting into a variety of battles. No one in the ensemble takes the material far too seriously, and the borderline comedic tone of it all works well enough together.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are first rate and the special features include a behind the scenes making of.
At the end of the day, "Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles" isn't going to go down in the annals of history as a good film, even as a good kung-fu film but it is a fun one and at the end of the day...isn't that enough?
2 out of 5 stars.
"Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles" is now available on DVD & Blu-Ray at all major retailers and check out the web series on YouTube.