Zatoichi: Better as a “Beat” Takeshi movie than as a Zatoichi movie. As a Zatoichi film it fails for one obvious reason- a lack of Shintaru Katsu in the title role. Much of the charm of the original Zatoichi series is in the pleasure of watching Katsu in the role. As much fun as Kitano is, he’s no Shintaru Katsu (at least in this role.) As a film it works pretty well. The action is exceptional. It’s just doesn’t speak to the Zatoichi fan in me, so I’m a little flat on the film.