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The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity
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The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

1959
Drama, War
3h 1m
Second part of a trilogy. Conscientious objector Kaji, now forced to serve in the Japanese army during the Second World War... (imdb)
Franchise: Ningen no jôken
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Rated
81st
84
Somewhat tediously one-note: the dehumanizing brutality of the military is beaten into your head almost as much as the soldiers beat each other on the head (which is a LOT in this movie). The slight shift in gears towards the end is welcome, but the first half really could have used some trimming down. The repetition prevents this film from matching the emotional intensity of the first one, but the performances are excellent, the photography is inspired, and Kaji is a hero worth rooting for.
Rated
86th
90
...and of course Japan is not Hollywood, but this ain't exactly Godzilla), but I think this trilogy was produced for similar reasons. It had to be said: not all Japanese thought the rape of Nanking was such a hot idea, either. Nobody believes me when I tell them that a movie like this is not boring. Well... it's not. It would be more accurate to say it is *exhausting*. That is... there's always a lot happening in these movies... {to be continued in reviewspace of _Human Condition III_}
Rated
65th
70
Meet Kaji. Kaji is Jesus, trapped in a movie that would have had a greater impact, if you hadn't watched 'Full Metal Jacket' first. Kaji is now superhuman, with a stoic sense of dignity, as he takes on the horrors of the fascist Japanese army from within. If you're watching the trilogy as one movie, this is the point where you start to wonder, how much more of Kaji's indignated stare you can really take. Also: Meet Kobayashi, who couldn't direct a war scene to save his life.
Rated
70th
4
Kaji's descent continues, as he continues to fight a losing battle in trying to maintain a sense of morality and honor in a dehumanizing, brutal military, and his sense of hope is further weakened. Like the first installment, I felt this dragged its feet during the first half, but in the end it adds up to something very powerful, and the closing battle scene is very captivating, with a hell of a slam-bang ending.
Rated
77th
75
Focusing on Kaji's ill-fated enrolment into the army, this second act becomes less nuanced, as the obvious hatred towards the authoritarian system gets the most attention. As such Kaji's development throughout becomes more fatalistic and he is depicted more of a martyr than previous. It's still an engaging drama though, and it's beautifully and dynamic shot.
Avg Percentile 80.69% from 449 total ratings
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