Notable Cast: Raizo Ichikawa
The first Sleepy Eyes of Death film was a decent sword and slash affair that found it a bit difficult to balance its thematic narrative with its entertaining aspects. It’s still a fun film, but hardly the iconic classic that I would have assumed it would be to spawn such a loved cult franchise. This is one of the reasons that it took me so long before getting around to the second film in the series, under the title Sleepy Eyes of Death 2: Sword of Adventure. However, the arrival of the massively underrated director Kenji Misumi to the series fold makes a world of difference for the tone and execution for this film. Instead of gimmicky villains and an almost tongue in cheek nihilistic approach to its characters, Sword of Adventure takes a politically charged approach and it creates a much smarter and streamlined affair that finds the balance between entertainment and depth of writing. It’s such a huge step up in quality that I’m now excited to see what the rest of this series has to offer.
Nemuri (Raizo Ichikawa), amongst his wanderings, comes across a fascinating old man who lets him in on a little secret. He’s the official in charge of money for the shogun that they are in and there’s somebody out to kill him because he knows too much. Normally, Nemuri isn’t into playing hero, but this man is truly out to do good and the corruption around him is seething. This is why our anti-hero decides to stick around and see what’s really happening with the political upheaval on hand even if it throws him into the path of danger.
|Thinking about nihilism takes a lot of brain power.|
|No, you're a standoff.|
|"Shit, this guy is good."|