This is a wonderful samurai film. The cinematic style is breathtaking, especially the highly stylized swordfights. The story is a fairly simple revenge tale, but even with so Takeshi plays with our expectations as he introduces characters - nobody is quite who they seem.
It seems like it is Takeshi's homage to Kurosawa (or maybe all samurai genre films).
Recommended to all fans of samurai films and westerns.