Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends **Dir: Keishi Ohtomo. With: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Yu Aoi. 134 mins. Cert: 15
Like Peter Jackson’s hobbling Hobbitry, this live-action samurai panto could conceivably have been resolved during its second instalment, which boasted a pretty piffling ratio ofplot-to-production design. Part Three has the ingredients of a rousing third-act fightback, as our never-more-androgynous hero is retrained to overcome a nemesis now hiding out in a battleship. Again, though, its momentum is stalled by byzantine sidebars involving shrieking, still-superfluous supporting characters. Handsome choreography, but it’s mostly been a demonstration of the modern movie business’s absurd gigantism: seven hours of set-trashing for a story that needed two tops. They’ll likely reboot it in a decade, too.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends opens in selected cinemas from today.