I'm usually not a big fan of remakes, but this remake of the Clint Eastwood Western moved to samurai Japan was pretty good. not as good as the original, but what is?
The movie opens up in 1869 with nine rider0s chasing down some men. The riders are soon all killed by the man they are chasing. We later learn that Jubee (Ken Watanabe) was a follower of the Shogun and was being chased by the Emperor's troops.
the movie then flashes forward to 1880 where we see see a prostitute's face being cut up by a customer. The police chief fines the man six horses but the madame doesn't think it is fair. The prostitutes put up a reward for the man's death.
We then see Jubee struggling on a farm with his two children. An old friend Kingo rides up and tries to enlist him in the job of killing the two men for the prostitutes. Jubee doesn't want to go because of a promise he made to his dead Aini wife.
When the cop fails Jubee goes after Kingo and they are soon joined by a young Ainu tribesman who calls Jubee The Executioner.
A ronin names Oishi arrives in the town trying to collect the reward before them. He doesn't surrender his weapon when he enters the town like the sign outside told him. he is very skilled but the police chief takes his swords at gunpoint and then savagely beats him.
Jubee is sick when he arrives in town and he doesn't surrender his weapons either. The police chief recognizes him as one of the Shogun's military leaders and also as the executioner of a town of white Catholics, including women and children. The chief beats him up and even cuts up his face.
Jubee slowly recovers and they go hunting for the men who cut up the prostitutes. They kill one, but Kingo has had enough, and he heads home. Jubee and the young Ainu then kill the other ronin. A search party gets Kingo and the chief tortures and kills him.
When Jubee finds out what happened he starts drinking and then heads to town. Kingo's body is outside the bar with a sign on it. Jubee goes in and kills the bar's owner. Then he tries to shoo the police chief but the gun misfires. Jubee then kills most of the people in the bar.
A beautifully filmed movie, not as good as the original, but still pretty good. Definitely worth seeing.