Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx: the second film of this series, again directed by Misumi Kenji, is plot-flimsy (but heavy on political intrigue in Japan), just an excuse for the ultra-violent and pulpy fight sequences. They are also very cinematic, with the editor Taniguchi Toshio keeping the action flow very clear while not really showing all the violence on-screen with his precise cuts. The film also makes use of super-imposed images to convey mood, and cinematographer Makiura Chishi makes all the copious blood seem almost poetic. In spite of it all, the film is grounded by the father-son relationship (other than, of course, being an assassin and constantly putting his kid in danger, the main character is trying to be a good father); Wakayama Tomisaburoo gives an intense, stoic performance as the anti-hero. Matsuo Kayo makes a strong, interesting female antagonist.
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