This film dares to be different. It throws the kung fu action genre on its ear.WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.
An American businessman, Paul Racine, is in Japan on business and makes the mistake of having a one-night stand with a Japanese girl. When he witnesses her murder by Ninjas and sees the face of Kinjo, the boss ninja, the ninja gang pursues Paul to kill him for seeing Kinjo’s face. When Paul is on the run he is helped by a husband and his wife who are samurai.
In this film my first expectation was that Paul would be like a typical Steven Seagal character, that is, indestructible. However this was not the case. In fact, at one point, Paul actually cowers in a corner while the samurai save the day.
When, in act III, Paul does learn how to use the sword, it is actually believable. Paul does not become an expert, even though he does become pretty good. And, because he is not an expert, he has to sneak up on the bad guy (who is right handed) and wound him so that the bad guy has to fight left handed. (A Steven Segal character would probably never sneak up on the bad guy and wound him in such a way – it might be considered (for a Steven Segal character) cheating. Of course, Paul has to do this because he is a beginner with the sword. This seems more realistic to me than making Paul become an expert with relatively little practice.
The region 4 DVD version of this film was average in visual and sound quality.This film, while not magnificent drama, and not full of special effects, is none-the-less enjoyable. However, this may be worth a rental first, before you decide to buy.