5.0 out of 5 stars Hideyoshi vs Tokugawa, June 11, 2009
When we last left our hero, Ishikawa Goemon, was in some pretty hot water. His wife and child cruelly murdered, he revenged himself on Nobunaga Oda, but was betrayed by the nightingale floors in Hideyoshi’s castle and was captured and sentenced to execution. Things were not looking good.
“Shinobi no Mono 3: Resurrection” (“Shin Shinobi no Mono”) picks up right on Shinobi No Mono 2‘s cliffhanger ending. Of course, Ishikawa survives his execution (otherwise he couldn’t complete the remaining films in the eight-film series!) and does so in a ninja-spectacular style. Now in hiding, he resumes his course of vengeance against Hideyoshi Toyotomi. As partner’s, Goemon recruits his old allies Hattori Hanzo and Nobori no Inuhachi.
Meanwhile Hideyoshi, secure in his position as Taiko and essentially ruling Japan, takes a little too much delight in the birth of his first natural son, Hideyori. Although he had promised succession to his adopted son, Hidetsugu, Hideyori’s birth to a concubine changes everything. Seeing a chance for true vengeance, Goemon plots to teach Hideyoshi what it feels like to loose an innocent wife and child that one loves in the same way that his own wife and son were taken from him.
So far, “Shinobi no Mono 3” has been my favorite in the series. There is less ninja skills at work here, and more political intrigue, but the political maneuvering between Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Hidetsugu and Goemon more than makes up for the lack of action. Tono Eijiro (Battle of Okinawa) is particularly effective as Hideyoshi, the low born and ugly thug who fights to a position of power but still worries about his inferiority next to the noble born and handsome Tokugawa Ieyasu (Mishima Masao from “Zatoichi 14: Zatoichi’s Pilgramage”).
Not to say that there are not some spectacular scenes. One in particular has Goemon and Inuhachi using the tatami-mat flooring to defend themselves from a rifle barrage that was very cool. Ichikawa Raizo (Sleepy Eyes of Death) is the cool hard-man of Japanese film, and even though he doesn’t get so much screen time in “Shinobi no Mono 3” he fills up every inch of it with dynamite.