Kyoto Inferno is the second part of the Rurouni Kenshin movie trilogy. After the enormous succes of the first movie, it was inevitable that a sequel would be made. But instead of one sequel an ambitious two movies were being filmed back to back. After a gruelling six month shoot, the first of the sequels was released, and the question is ofcourse: is it every bit as good as the first one?
Kyoto Inferno opens with a very impressive action sequence, introducing the new villain. The new menace that has appeared is a man called Shishio. This bad guy is another person bound to Kenshins past. Betrayed by the Empire he once served, Shishio was left behind for dead and horribly burned. Miraculously he survived and is now planning his revenge. He has raised an army with like minded souls, and his first plan is to burn the city of Kyoto to the ground and all the people living in it. When the police seeks out the help of Kenshin to defeat Shishio, he at first wants nothing to do with it. Reluctantly though he eventually accepts and travels to Kyoto. What awaits him there will be a battle that may not see him survive….and the vow he took of never taking a life again will be tested to it’s limits….Especially when the life of the one he loves is threatened.
Kyoto Inferno is every bit as impressive as the first movie, if not more so. The swordfights that were already very spectacular in part one, are even more fantastic in this second movie. Kenshin, again played by Takeru Sato, at times takes on entire armies by himself. That no computers were used, and all the actors did their own stunts, definitely shines through. It was a delight to see all the main actors from the first movie return in their respective roles, and the new characters that are introduced only add even more fun to the mix. There is an incredible amount of action in this movie, more than in part one, and this is the only quarrel I have with this second part. At times you would like a little bit more breathing room for some character development. But this a minor issue in what is otherwise a well made action period piece. I am definitely looking forward to the final part, as the movie ends on a cliffhanger. If you were a fan of the first movie, there is absolutely nothing standing in your way to watch this one.
I give this movie a 9 out of 10 score.