47 Ronin (2013) Review
I heard awful things about this film and so didn’t go to cinema to see it, but after seeing it recently I kind of regret that. The film isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination but it isn’t bad and I had quite a bit of fun watching it. In saying that I would like to point out that I am weird and I imagine the number of people who would also like this film to be quite small, so my readers are warned. The story and general script wasn’t too bad but if I were to give some advice it would be to not use as much of the magical and fantasy elements because it costs far too much and was the worst parts of the film. The battles and action was pretty great and had fun with all the samurai action, less so when they fought magic stuff. The visuals where strong and whilst I think the film could have done without the magic elements they didn’t skimp on the CGI. This cost way too much to make. I’ll go into much more detail below and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“Rivers of blood and mountains of corpses will not stand in our way.”
From ancient Japan’s most enduring tale, the epic 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin is born. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of 47 outcast samurai. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.
Tim’s Film Reviews Maybe Recommended
Story: 40% Acting: 50% Characters: 60% Dialogue: 55%
Fantasy/Samurai: 75% Style/Sound: 60% Visuals: 85%
The story and I cannot over state this is enough is very LOOSLEY based on a true story in Japanese history. Originally I had hoped it would be a big budget retelling of the actually events, not the crazy ass fantasy thing we got, but when you get past that it’s enough to run through its nut job content. I’ll say something nice before my scathing remakes, the Japanese cast was great, Hiroyuki Sanada is always great and Rinko Kikuchi was a great creepy witch which showed some range that I liked to see. However none of the rest of the cast a moment to talk or get to know anyone because Keanu Reeves takes up 50% of the screen time, what is he doing in this film?! He cannot act! He should not have a love interest because he is 50 and she most certainly is not. Side Note: The love interest ‘Mika’ is actually played by the same actress as the one who played that psycho girl from Battle Royale, love that film. I really hope someone wants to argue about Keanu Reeves, I say he cannot act. But I want to fight about it.
The sword fighting and weird magic fighting stuff was pretty good, had elements of being great but few and far between fights ruined the pace. The stealthy entrance into the castle near the end was great and some of that battle was pretty well choreographed, but they didn’t keep with it and I wanted that super tall one to have a big fight and he NEVER DID. The magic creature fights where stupid whilst looked good, I just don’t get the link. Music was quite good, but nothing blew me away.
The best reviews I found would be these:
“The poor direction and poor script are sometimes balanced out by some really great visuals, the great set and costume designs and some of the great (okay, just Rinko Kikuchi) acting. In the hands of another, more experienced director and writers who are willing to get stuck into Japanese culture and give more to a set of fantastic actors and it would have been a great fantasy film, a brilliant visual extravaganza.” Genkinahito’s Blog. Full Review
“A disappointment in nearly every way, 47 Ronin has somehow won over a decent percentage of Rotten Tomatoes visitors (60% audience) but I can’t help feeling this is largely going to end up a massive box office miss, a squandering of Keanu Reeves’ admittedly one-trick talent, and an opportunity to tell a really inspiring story.” Digital Shortbread. Full Review
“This lumbering vanity vehicle for star Keanu Reeves (50 this year!) features him looking as miserable and bored as the audience.” Ha that’s mean. Rip It Up. Full Review
My favourite scene would have to be the raid on the castle near the end. Had the best fights and a fun sneaky attack to begin with, I always love those.