Goemon is a Japanese production from writer/director Kazuaki Kiriya. It takes fact, fiction, and legend and combines them with some crazy, over the top CG effects to produce a thoroughly enjoyable film.
It tells the epic story of what the cover dubs Japan’s answer to Robin Hood. Goemon is feudal Japan’s 'Master Thief' operating in the powder keg period after Lord Nobunaga has been assassinated and Lord Hideyoshi, his former second in command, has ascended to the position of ruler. While Hideyoshi’s rule has unified the nation, extreme poverty grips the country and Goemon’s exploits, stealing from corrupt officials, have won him the hearts of the people. As the story begins to unravel it appears there’s more than meets the eye to Goemon and more to the assassination of Lord Nobunaga than first believed. What transpires is an epic story of revenge and a nation's quest for peace and freedom.
"Epic" is a term that gets thrown around a lot in regard to film but Goemon certainly comes under that banner. The story develops from one man’s quest for revenge to a story that becomes bigger than him and his revenge as the fate of the nation is now at stake.
Kiriya’s story and directing are both top notch. Not a moment is wasted as so many little plot points spring up and while some elements seem odd at first, Kiriya manages to tie them in well when all is said and done. He creates great interconnections between the past and present and between the actions of one and its effect on the whole. He also uses a lot of cuts partway through a sentence and while I thought that would be annoying it actually serves the film well. The cuts add some tension and mystery to proceedings as the cut usually leads into a scene involving the prior discussion and there is a sense that actions speak louder than words.