This year has been somewhat of a field year for comic fans. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy, there hasn’t been a shortage of good movies inspired by comic books. And while Captain America might easily be the best of the lot (for me—chill out, all you Grootians!) my runner up for best comic book movie is actually none of the above mentioned.
It’s Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, the sequel to 2012’s Rurouni Kenshin (which was reviewed by Zed).
Kyoto Inferno picks up some time after the first movie and sees Kenshin enjoying a rare period of peace which is quickly brought to an end (because a movie about a happy ex-killer would be really boring). And while most would deem the phrase “more of the same” to be a bad thing, Kyoto Inferno is a good example of it carrying a positive effect… except for the last part of the movie which (totally not a spoiler) falls back on Kenshin chasing after some villain who has taken his pseudo-love interest captive.
Other than a slightly underwhelming catalyst for the climax, this sequel proves itself to be a worthy successor, and even ups the stakes, with every battle sequence. In an age with bloated, CGI-driven action sequences, it is a treat to watch talented martial artists go at it with fist and blades assisted by more practical means.
Special mention has to be made of the child actors in this movie. Not only are they truly talented, they even manage to steal what little scenes they are in with raw emotion and a sincerity that’s usually not found in child actors.
*Note: Due to the movie having been written in Japanese (and my only knowledge of the language being the names of the various Zanpakutos from Bleach) I’m not grading the script. But from what can be gleaned from the subtitles, the movie does not lack of wit, humour and interesting dialogue.