copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

This is one of those movies that even today gets recommended among the youngsters, even though the movie is from two plus generations back.

Yojimbo is a story of a ronin from the fifteenth century who comes to a town that's torn between two local gangs. The ronin decides to clean the place up by attempting to set the gangs against each other as much as possible.

The story is not always prefect and there are a few "yeah, right, like that would ever happen" moments in the plot, but it's rather interesting that things don't go just the way the viewer expects. The main character, for one, isn't given all the extreme luck and super abilities that spaghetti heroes like him often receive from the makers.

The movie is somewhat comical, with the accent put on the silliness of the criminal element. A fair classification would be a comical Western...Excuse me, "Eastern" would be a more correct term.

The characters are all slightly exaggerated. The evil smart man has an evil smile and an advantage; the stupid man has the unibrow and the arrogance; the cowards are pacing and have a scared look on their face. This all, however, makes the movie all that more colorful and doesn't feel as cheesy as in other movies with similar exaggeration.

Camera work is close to perfect. Positions are very well chosen and nothing feels out of place (unless you do not feel the intention of the director). There are a few hidden meanings and interesting decisions. As one could expect, this movie isn't a special effects galore. However, where gore or destruction comes, it looks realistic yet not over the top. The music is well synchronized with the action and is mostly of a comic tune.

The final verdict is that Yojimbo is a movie that's very interesting to watch. It owes this to the story, the actors, the music and just plain good movie directing.