TIFF 2009: Kamui
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.



TIFF 2009: Kamui

Solomon Kane

Today’s Picks
3 p.m. – Karaoke (AMC 5) – 4/5
4 p.m. – Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 (Jackman Hall) – Review
5:30 p.m. – Deliver Us From Evil (Varsity 2)
6 p.m. – Mother (Elgin)
6:30 p.m. – Cooking with Stella (Roy Thompson Hall) – 3/5
8:15 p.m. – Bunny and the Bull (Scotiabank 1)
9:15 p.m. – Kamui (Varsity 8) – 1.5/5
11:59 p.m. – Solomon Kane (Ryerson)
After the jump, a review of Japanese ninja drama Kamui.

Today’s Review


Kamui (Yoichi Sai)
Whoever wrote Kamui apparently has never heard of the concept of “character motivation.” Outside of our hero Kamui’s decision to become a “fugitive ninja”—because he didn’t like killing women and kids, fair enough—there isn’t a single thing anyone does in this film that has any worthy point. It gets off on the wrong foot with a ninja chase/battle which demonstrates the absolute nadir of current computer animation-aided fight scenes (characters don’t look like they’re “in” the scenes, just pasted on) but gets worse when a guy chops off a live horse’s leg (a horse we then watch suffer until its death) because he wanted to make some nice fishing lures. And as viewers we’re supposed to be cool with this. This kind of stupid storytelling doesn’t quite ruin a couple of stretches in the middle which are just about the rhythms of life in a Japanese seaside village, but the film goes on to destroy any goodwill you may have built up by only introducing the “main” villain with about ten minutes to go till the end—a villain whose motivation is never even considered—and expecting us to care. In fact, he obviously isn’t even really the main villain, making the conclusion completely unsatisfying. Guess they’re fishing for a sequel (with a severed horse’s leg). 1.5/5