Shout! Factory // 2014 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 29th, 2014
Eat and fight.
Here's an odd one. Toramaru is a legendary Japanese warrior newly returned from a journey of self-discovery and kicking skulls in. His mission was simple: track down and do glorious battle with seven of the greatest fighters he could find. It doesn't matter what each fighter's particular discipline is, Toramaru will match what they bring and ape their fighting style.
After his (apparently successful) voyage, Toramaru debriefs about his adventures with his sensei Master Gensai, regaling him of his feats and the unique way he went about profiling his opponents and pinpointing the strategies to defeat them. That plan: eating the ethnic food that closely resembles the fighters. And through some sort of magical transference between calorie and pugilist, it works.
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to home video marketing is the misleading synopses, jazzy write-ups that promise something that is nowhere to be found on the actual disc. But I'll hand it to the people behind Bushido Man: they didn't obfuscate.
This movie is eating and fighting and that is it.
Not making it up.
Toramaru visits a restaurant or eatery of some kind. He orders some food. He eats the food. The camera plays over the food lovingly. And then he squares of with some martial artists and the two go at it. Repeat that seven times and you have your movie. There's no plot holding it together, no nuanced characterization, just food and punching.
Of the two, I'm going to have award higher marks to the bit with the comestibles over the hand-to-hand offerings. There's an array of delicacies to take in and if that's your bag, have at it. I'm sure it wouldn't shock anyone to hear that I was more interested in what the action scenes served up. While there were plenty of them, nothing stood out. The participants were okay at their craft and the different types of combat added some spice. What does it say about a martial arts film when the only thing I remember is what the hero ate? A few extra bonus points for the crazy ending, though!
Shout! Factory's Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles (Blu-ray) offers up a solid 1.78:1/1080p transfer, original Japanese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, English subtitles, and no extras.
My taste buds can live vicariously for only so long. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Japanese)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site