by Chris MaGee
When it was announced a year ago that SMAP member Shingo Katori was going to be filling the shoes of Shintaro Katsu, Takeshi Kitano (and Haruka Ayase) by playing Zatoichi in Junji Sakamoto's "Zatoichi: The Last"... well, let's just say the reaction was mixed. And that's being kind. Even though news leaked out that Sakamoto had assembled a pretty damn impressive cast including screen legend Tatsuya Nakadai most of us here at the Pow-Wow were unimpressed at best by this proposed final film in the long running series of Blind Swordsman films (including reboots, re-imaginings, and sex changes).
Now Todd Brown at Twitch has pointed the way to the brand new trailer for "Zatoichi: The Last", due out in Japanese theatres on May 29th, and despite our previous reservations on the casting choice the film doesn't look terrible. It just looks dull. It looks as if it will end up suffering from the same bloated and charmless treament that Yoshimitsu Morita gave to his unnecessary 2007 remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Sanjuro" and Shinji Higuchi gave to his 2008 remake of "The Hidden Fortress". I'd say that the folks at Toho should take a page from J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" book and take a look at how you can really reboot a tried and true franchise.
Check out more about "Zatoichi: The Last", including it's solid supporting cast, here, and the new trailer below.