Akira Kurosawa's samurai epic begins in 16th century war-torn
Japan, a petty thief is hired as the double of a samurai warlord and upon the warlord's death, must stand in his place to keep the army's morale from dying.
Kurosawa's movies were a huge influence to George Lucas and
Star Wars, to which Lucas stumped up some of the cash to co-produce this movie.
At nearly 3 hours long it's a difficult slog to get through
and doesn't hold interest as well as the director's best work (The Seven Samurai), but the film is alive with colour, great costumes and spectacular visuals as well as staying faithful to the
traditionalism, honour and loyalty of the samurai way.
Many scenes are hypnotically inert, but when the battles
scenes do come, they are well worth the wait.