Watch this because it’s an underrated gem, and anyone who’s had a passing interest in Hauer will be really smitten by him in the film. It’s pretty fantastic.
A blind Vietnam Vet gets involved in protecting an imperiled boy.
Casino Boss: “If you can’t handle it, get me somebody that can! Get me Bruce Lee!”
Henchman: “Bruce Lee is dead.”
Casino Boss: “Then get his brother!”
If Rutger Hauer were an action star, then Blind Fury would be one of his very best vehicle films, but since he’s not, Blind Fury is a bit of an anomaly for him. Sho Kosugi, the foremost actor / action star from the 1980’s who starred in a slew of ninja-themed movies, shows up at the very end of the movie in a ninja-type cameo appearance role, so take note. Hauer plays a Vietnam veteran named Nick Parker, who after being severely wounded and blinded in Vietnam, is nursed back to health by a peaceful village and a nameless patron that trains him to use his senses to protect himself and use a samurai sword. Twenty years after his injury, Nick is a good-hearted vagabond who walks on foot across the U.S. to visit an old war buddy, but he ends up becoming the guardian of a pre-teen boy whose mother was killed. Nick accompanies the boy (on foot, by car, and by bus) to Reno, where his father is being held captive by a casino boss that is using him to manufacture drugs. Along the way, Nick and the boy encounter bad guys who are trying to kidnap the boy to use him as leverage against his enslaved father, but everyone around Nick is shocked to find that he’s a formidable sword fighter. The final stage of their quest has Nick faced with an assassin (Kosugi who comes in with complete force).
An Americanized retelling of the Japanese film series Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, Blind Fury is a great little action picture from director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Dead Calm). If you’re seeing it just because Kosugi is in it, you’re seeing it for the wrong reasons, and you’ll be disappointed anyway because he’s only in it for a few minutes. Watch this because it’s an underrated gem, and anyone who’s had a passing interest in Hauer will be really smitten by him in the film. It’s pretty fantastic. Kosugi completists should see it in that case.
Previously released in a sub-par Blu-ray edition from Mill Creek, Blind Fury has been reissued by Kino Lorber in a special edition quality release with a solid high definition transfer, plus an added commentary by the screenwriter, plus the trailer.