Synopsis by Mark Deming
A ragtag band of renegades takes on a master warrior and his private army in this stylish action thriller. In the wake of a global war, guns have been outlawed but violence is still the way for many, who now do battle with knives or their fists. Nicola (Ron Perlman), nicknamed The Woodcutter, is the most feared and powerful fighter on the East Coast, and he rules his empire with the help of a handful of similarly talented lieutenants, most notably Killer No. 2 (Kevin McKidd). One evening, The Drifter (Josh Hartnett) ambles into a bar in Nicola's village and announces he has a score to settle with the leader, and wants to know who's willing to help kill him. The Drifter's bold request catches the ear of Yoshi (Gackt), a swordsman from Japan who was also done wrong by Nicola and wants justice. Most believe the Drifter and Yoshi have signed their own death warrants by taking on the Woodcutter and his minions, but a few are eager to help them bring down the tyrannical Nicola, including the philosophical Bartender (Woody Harrelson), Alexandra (Demi Moore), a courtesan with an unpleasant history with the tyrant, and Yoshi's uncle (Shun Sugata) and cousin (Emily Kaiho). Written and directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Moshe, Bunraku was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.
renegade, swordsman, warrior