Monday, March 7, 2011

Last Man Standing - Film review across time and space

A 1920 era movie made in the 1990s, based on a Japanese samurai movie from the 1960s that was based on American western movies of the 1950s....got that?

Starring Bruce Willis as John Smith, a drifter making his way through a Texas town. On his route he finds rival gangs. Italians and Irish gangs with sharp suits and Tommy guns battle each other during 1920s prohibition America.

Christopher Walken plays Hickey, the Irish gangs right hand man. The best at what he does. Seems Hickey and Smith have a strange mutual respect for each other.

But Smith isn't making a home with either gang, he's playing both sides and getting pretty rich in the process.

Although this movie doesn't have much of a score, the little bit of music that you do hear is distinctly Kurisawa-film sounding.

As I was watching this, I thought this story was pretty familiar. So I looked it up and found that it was based on the 1961 Akira Kurosawa film, Yojimbo starring ToshirĊ Mifune.

In Yojimbo, a ronin arrives in a small town where competing crime lords make their money from gambling.

Obviously in the original film there are samurai sword instead of a Tommy gun, and a lot of honor and of course, no sex (some saki though).

Out of these two films, I enjoyed Yojimbo much more. I felt it had a little more class and a lot more style.

The only reason I watched "Last Man Standing" was because Walken was in it. It was an OK film, but as far as art or a film that will stick with you, it didn't work.

Yojimbo, although the same movie, is a much better film.

1 comment:

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