Samurai 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple is the second film of a trilogy following the exploits and adventures of Musashi Miyamoto (Toshiro Mifune) as he seeks to become a famous and disciplined samurai. For a movie that’s about a famous swordsman, we actually see very little of him. That’s my primary complaint of his film. We actually see very little of Miyamoto.
Mifune does a great job of the character, portraying him as a man seeking to become more than he is. But the rest of the film just doesn’t live up to it. So much time is spent on subplots and other characters that you lose track of where Miyamoto is at in his journey.
So much time is spent on other characters that when Miyamoto grows as a samurai, the payoff just isn’t there. I’ll have to wait until I see the final installment before I pass judgment, but I must admit that I’ve been disappointed so far.