Monday, February 2, 2009

Afro Samurai: Resurrection

I really haven't been sure about how to categorize televised feature-length productions, especially when they're connected to existing series. The "television" label is really used for episodic products, even if they aren't actually broadcast originally. Other series like 24 and Battlestar Galactica have had TV movies recently that I decided to include as part of the season they were produced with, instead of reviewing them separately. Resurrection is a strange case, a televised movie sequel to a miniseries with no other episodes accompanying it. I'll just call it a movie and move along. If you saw the series, you pretty much know what to expect. Some stylish, bloody action scenes, silly titillation that goes nowhere, and a bleak tone of hopeless, constant violence. Several characters thought dead disappear, and in some ways it feels more like a remix of the series than a true sequel. Hey, there's a lot of remixes in rap, and the RZA did the music for this! There's rap in it! And it actually kind of works in the same way as Samurai Champloo.

They lean pretty heavily on the widespread weight of Afro's deeds in his previous quests, as the crux of the plot was caused and seemingly everyone he runs into was affected by all the people he hurt attempting to avenge his father. He goes on a fairly unoriginal journey filled with fighting and further annoying dialogue from his white-haired alter-ego, before the fairly brutal climax that redeems a number of characters. I'm going to reference Mark Hamill again here, who plays a couple characters, and wonder how long it will be before I just give him a label. He has the perfect gravelly voice and will do anything. It's pretty sweet. Jackson and Liu fulfill the required big name quota, and they're decent enough I guess. I didn't enjoy Resurrection as much as the original series, but it's worth checking out if you like any of the component elements enough.

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