Goemon Review

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16th century Japan. Legendary ninja warrior and Robin Hood-like bandit, Ishikawa Goemon (Eguchi) steals from the rich to feed the poor. In a fractured kingdom, he's faced with even greater sacrifices to bring peace and avenge his betrayed master.


Much like Kazuaki Kiriya's directorial debut, the histrionic sci-fi flick Casshern, Goemon races from frame to frame like a junkyard dog chasing down an intruder. This time around Kiriya’s back on Earth in 16th century Japan, the kingdom’s splintering, torn apart by corruption and infighting until a hero emerges in the shape of enigmatic master thief Goemon Ishikawa (Yosuke Eguchi). A former ninja turned unlikely Robin Hood, Ishikawa’s a conflicted young man (you know this because his flashbacks are shot in the starkest black and white) who must offer up the ultimate sacrifice if he wants to succeed in healing a listing nation. It hardly matters, though, as exposition and story arc are simply shoehorned in between frames of glowing violence, and digital alchemy that allows men to fly and battles to blot the horizon. Goemon doesn’t so much assault the senses as give them a hefty kick in the kidneys.

A gut-punch of violence and CGI-ed mayhem that masks some perfunctory storytelling.