Wednesday, May 1, 2013

13 Assassins

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can pretend to be samurais and end up accidentally cutting off our own hands when we come to the horrifying realization that we can't handle the swords.

13 Assassins – 4 out of 5

The samurai are cool; one cannot deny such a thing. I’m kinda a samurai myself—well, I own an umbrella that has a samurai sword handle and I totally thing that counts.

"Quickly, the giant Q-tips to the front of the line."

13 Assassins (the word “ass” appears twice in that word! Lovers of low-brow comedy, I threw you a bone—and now laugh because I said “bone”) is a 2010 remake of a 1963 black and white film of the same name. It is set in the 1840s and tells the tale of some samurai who are hired to take out a real dick of a human being.

Put that thing away, I know you're proud of it but do you really need to keep
whipping it out?  (That can either be a dick joke or a fishing joke, your choice.)

He may not look that bad but he really is.  Like, "I Drown
Puppies for the Erection it Gives Me" bad.
 Lord Matsudaira Naritsugu is an all-around bad dude. Thanks to his lineage, he’s in line to get some serious power and that’s not the type of thing you want to give a guy who is just a straight-up asshole to those around him. He would kill and rape people all willy nilly-style, leave the toilet seat up and even stick his fingers in other people’s food and say, “Minesies,” before eating your Cherry Garcia ice cream that you totally bought for yourself to enjoy while watching a Murder, She Wrote marathon. Members of the government realize that such a man can’t stick around without things getting worse as the power will further corrupt an already despicable man. Secretly they call upon a master samurai by the name of Shinzaemon to take him out. He pulls together a team of samurai (and one lost, very unstable—but very cool—man in the woods) to create a team of 13 assassins (remember, the word “ass” is in there twice!). They locate a village to intercept Naritsugu and plan to ambush him…only to discover that he is with an army of 200 plus men. Now it becomes a battle of the ages as the team of 13 paint the village…paint it with blood…and yes, they will be applying a second coat.

Right after they finish their game of Naked Yahtzee.

That's an intense face.  And that's just the face he makes
when the restaurant has Coke and not Pepsi products.
 To sum this film up in one word, 13 Assassins is just plain awesome!  (The one word is "awesome" not "plain.") While the beginning may seem a little slow as it is all about building the story, getting the characters together and the threat of Naritsugu is established, not to mention just preparing you for the ridiculous levels of badassery that will take place in the final hour of the film, once you get to the end the methodical pace it starts with feels completely worth it because your eyeballs will most likely melt and your brain will explode if you don’t ease yourself into the savage waters of epicness (totally a word) that arrives when the ambush takes place in the village.

Boy, look at that rain.  Bet you kinda wish you had a samurai sword umbrella
right now.

I hate to boil the entire movie down to a single battle that takes up almost an entire hour but that battle is just that incredible to watch and just viciously entertaining as the blood flows and the swords swing. However, the battle aside, the rest of the film, and all it entails, is fantastic as well. The acting is intense, the drama is tangible as you feel that the mission these 13 men are undertaking is really that important and the sound…oh, the sound!

The samurai in this film are so badass, I got my ass kicked just looking at
this pic.

When the battle gets going, every clang of the sword, every zing of the arrow, every splatter of blood dripping into the dirt, every deafening roar of the flames, all the grunts of rage and determination pushing past the warriors’ lips are all presented in top quality sound and sound editing. The noise of battle becomes the soundtrack to the absolutely phenomenal mini-war taking place in the village and is just as cool as watching the sword fighting unfold.  It's a feast for the eyes and the ears, people...and it satifyies completely.

Wow, he's really intense.  This is the face he probably makes when the
toilet paper isn't hanging properly.

If I were to find fault in the film it would be in the fact there is some questionable CG during the battle sequence and the replay value is kinda limited for me. The CG isn’t absolutely terrible but it does stick out enough in the action that it looks fake—however, soon after the bad CG the awesome samurai action spills on the screen and you’re quick to forget the CG ever took place.

Except this man, he was completely CG and he looked incredible.

"No, I'm not a samurai, I'm crazy as a loon and you just found
me in the woods...sure I'll kill an entire army with you."
 The replay value of the film is also a little limited, for me anyway. I’m not saying I won’t watch this film again in my life (I totally will because, come one, that battle!) but it just won’t enter into a regular rotation like some other films I have in my collection. And that is really the only reason this movie isn’t given a perfect 5 out of 5 score from me.  These facts did little to put out the entertainment fire that burned in me while watching 13 Assassins. With a strong story, great acting and a battle sequence that all but makes the film, this movie is just plain top-shelf stuff that really satisfies and delivers immensely.  I dare you to not want to buy a samurai sword after watching this film or at least an umbrella equivalent.

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