Blade of the Immortal, which charts one man who gets immortality thrust upon him (he doesn't quite want it but, hey, the supernatural happens sometimes, gosh-darnit), and 50 years later the un-killable Manji sees a young girl who appears to be at least physically a reincarnation of his long lost slain-by-a-tattoed-psycho swordsf***er daughter Machi (now Rin, the two are played by Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki respectively), and who's father and mother were killed by the ruthless Anotsu Kagehisa (a fairly stone-faced and at first seeming to be too cool Fukushi, near the end he sheds some of that). She swears revenge, but since she's all of 8 or 9 and has (limited) throwing star ability, a little help from a bigger, especially jaded-and-tired-of-life killer is the way to go.
This is Miike's 100th movie, and he knows in the best, most bloody and classical badass way. He has learned a lot over this many films - some of them quite masterful, a number of them crap, all of a signature wildman-maverick I'm-a-sick-all-get-out, but-I-love-cinema taste that we do not (genuinely) get much anymore in genre cinema - and the key things to me are that he knows when to show patience in the story, to let a scene or shot breathe between this Wolverine-with-blood-worms Tonin and the girl, to get actors who can do the finest work of their careers, and when to let the choreographers unleash their brilliance. I didn't think 13 Assassins could go farther, but I was wrong. Even the Wolverine connection surprises; dare I say it, but this may kind of be the better Logan movie of 2017 than the actual one (up to a point).
Sometimes, a little late-night epic revenge saga with an 800 year-old immortality-bestowing wizard lady, samurai who use their chopped-off appendages to their advantage (the bones can be weapons naturally), even a little governmental corruption and intrigue, is just what you need. Id like to think it's not so much an homage to 60s samurai movies, both in composition and movement and the high emotions and stoicism of the narrative and characters than it is just that Miike traveling back in time and shooting his with better quality film stock and slightly faster cutting here and there, but not too much. It's professionally made, but from the burning soul of an artist.
This is a blast for the jaded cinephile, and it manages to be a treat for those who are hardcore fans of Japanese samurai/Ronin swordplay films while also appealing to those who may be relative newcomers.