- 1 hr 55 min
Kill! is a 1968 Japanese samurai film directed by Kihachi Okamoto and based on the novel "Peaceful Days" by Kaneo Ikegami. The movie features an all-star cast with Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, and Yuriko Hoshi in the leading roles. The story takes place during the Edo period in Japan, where two samurai, Genta (Tatsuya Nakadai) and Hanjiro (Etsushi Takahashi), are hired by a powerful feudal lord to escort a group of religious pilgrims to a sacred mountain. The two samurais have a completely different personality, with Genta being an idealistic and honorable warrior, while Hanjiro is a cold-blooded killer who only cares about money.
As the journey progresses, the group encounters a gang of bandits who attack the pilgrims and capture their leader, a wise old monk. Genta and Hanjiro, with the help of a beautiful female ninja named Otsu (Yuriko Hoshi), manage to rescue the monk and continue their journey. However, soon they discover that the monk actually carries a treasure map that leads to a secret goldmine, and everyone becomes obsessed with finding it.
The rest of the movie is a wild and violent adventure as the characters engage in a deadly struggle to obtain the treasure, with each one revealing their true nature and motives. Genta, who is initially reluctant to violence, is forced to fight against Hanjiro and his own sense of honor as he tries to protect the innocent pilgrims and prevent the treasure from falling into the wrong hands.
Kill! is a classic samurai movie that combines action, humor, and drama in a unique way. The film showcases the talents of director Kihachi Okamoto, who was known for his innovative and unconventional approach to the genre. The movie features dynamic fight scenes, stylish cinematography, and a memorable soundtrack by composer Masaru Sato.
The performances are also outstanding, with Tatsuya Nakadai delivering a nuanced and charismatic portrayal of Genta, the conflicted samurai torn between duty and morality. Etsushi Takahashi is also excellent as Hanjiro, the ruthless and pragmatic killer with a tragic backstory. Yuriko Hoshi, who plays the female ninja Otsu, brings her own charm and wit to the story, and her scenes with Nakadai are particularly delightful.
One of the film's strengths is its exploration of the samurai code of honor and its relevance in a changing society. Genta represents the traditional samurai who adheres to the principles of bushido, while Hanjiro represents the pragmatic view that samurais are just paid killers who must adapt to survive in a changing world. The clash between these two ideologies, along with the corrupt and greedy characters who join the hunt for the treasure, creates a complex and thought-provoking narrative.
Overall, Kill! is a must-watch for fans of samurai cinema and Japanese cinema in general. It's a thrilling and entertaining adventure that also offers insights into the cultural and historical context of the Edo period. The film's themes of honor, greed, and morality are still relevant today, making it a timeless classic that has stood the test of time.
Kill! is a 1968 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.