Reviewed by Bill Stea
Rating: 2 Beans
hen I first rented "G.I. Samurai," I thought it sounded like a great late night movie fest flick to throw in with a bunch of other Martial Arts films. Sonny Chiba, one of the Asian greats, starred in this movie which actually is difficult to catagorize in a particular genre.
Originally released as "Sengoku jieitai" or "Time Slip," it is about a platoon of Japanese soldiers who are caught in a strange time warp and end up in Feudal Japan.
Chiba stars as their commander, who is trying to make sense out of their situation, when they meet up with a Feudal warlord who immediately befriends them when he realizes the potential of their technology and arsenal.
The action is tremendous, and the pyrotechnics make Donald Sutherland's "Backdraft" character want to drool. The Japanese military must have been involved in the production, since they had quite a variety of military craft and weapons.
The costumes were believable, and the lighting and color were vivid for a late 70's Japanese film. The science fiction special effects were a bit tawdry, however, and it seems obvious where they cut corners in the budget.
Acting? Well, how can you rate Japanese acting when you're only getting half the product? Let's put it this way: their visual acting was adequate, and the dubbing was equivalent. And the dubbing at least matched the timing of the visual action.
Would I recommend the movie? You bet, if you're looking for some great stunts, explosions, and action from our neighbors in the East and can live without Martial Arts in a Martial Arts film.
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