Kamui DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 5.5
Video 8.6
Audio 8.0
Special Features 1.0
Total 5.5
Distributor: Madman
Classification: MA15+
Minutes: 115
Reviewer: Brent Jago

5.5


Kamui

Kamui (Keníichi Matsuyama) is a powerful, young ninja, who walks away from his life of violence and murder. The only problem is, once youíre a ninja, leaving is impossible, so Kamui becomes a fugitive ninja, on the run, hunted by his former clan. While on the run, his travels bring him to a seashore village where he meets fisherman; Hanbei (Kaoru Kobayashi), who Kamui befriends. Life begins to settle for Kamui, until his violent past comes back to catch up with him. 

Kamui isnít the fully rounded and filled story that weíd be interested in. Itís a flashy little movie, with bland acting, terrible, clunky CGI, an empty story, but a film that is very beautifully shot. Keníichi Matsuyama gives a moody performance as the life hardened ninja; Kamui, but he looks more of a pretty, tween heart throb, whoís more likely to be found in a teenage soap than playing the most skilled ninja killer around. Kaoru Kobayashi gives us an, at first, annoying performance, but shows a little more depth and seriousness in some of his more dramatic scenes, which is a plus in his and the films favour. But the single most appealing and charismatic character in the film is Hideaki Ito as the pirate captain; Kudo. His charisma claws back some of the ground lost by the film, but it isnít enough to save it completely.  

Okay, so this is a ninja flick. So youíre wondering; what about all the fight scenes? Surely there must be some hella sweet ninja action in this film? Well, yes there is, but, theyíre not the greatest looking scenes of ninja prowess. Kamui has a number of secret ninja techniques, one which is pretty much a pile driver, driving an opponents head into the ground from incredibly ridiculous heights, killing them, while he floats away completely unscathed. Wirework also looks great, if done well, but having a ninja jump a distance thatís clearly impossible, but they float to the ground, like a falling feather, landing gracefully. Ninja are supposed to be over the top, but this is just a little step too far off the scale and ends up just being plain ridiculous. The CGI also is very clunky and not done to a high standard. I assume this was probably due to budget constraints, but these scenes can be picked from a hundred miles away and takes you out the film for being far too obvious. 

The plus side of the film and probably itís only saving grace are the beautiful photography of the film, with the lushest green forests youíve ever seen, beautiful seaside villages and the longest and deepest blue oceans that really give the film a great anchor. Hey, it may not be a winner in the story, character or CG department, but Iíll be damned if the scenery doesnít look good! The fight scenes, though over-the-top and silly, are fairly interesting to watch. But what do we expect, really? Itís based on a manga.  

The only extra available on the disc is the films theatrical trailer. 

Kamui isnít the perfect ninja film, but itís got some good fight scenes, a few interesting characters, great looking locations, but itís held back by poor characterization, pacing and bad CGI. Itís like watching a live action anime. A not so good, live action anime. 






 
 



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