Tuesday, April 22, 2014

47 Ronin

***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. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, 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! Good thing Keanu learned that Kung-Fu, amirite?  Eh?  Eh?  I'll show myself out.

47 Ronin – 2 out of 5

47 Ronin was one of those films that, when I saw the trailer, I noticed Keanu Reeves (shut up, I like the guy) and samurai AND a dragon and I was like, “Everyone shut up, this movie has all I need.” However, I never got to the theater to see it because, of all ironies, I had to fight a dragon with some samurai (which I later found out was a vindictive coworker spiking my tea with LSD). After sitting down with the DVD, I can’t say that I missed much.

Ha ha...Keanu always runs from me.  You can't run away from friendship, Reeves!

Someone just told him his hat looks like a penis.
Based on the ancient Japanese story that has been adapted seven different times into film (and this is the first time produced by Hollywood), 47 Ronin tells the tale of ancient medieval Japan and all about the domain of Ako, ruled by Lord Asano (Min Tanaka). One day, Lord Asano finds a half-Japanese, half-British child by the name of Kai and raises him in his home—much to the chagrin of others. Kai (Keanu Reeves) grows up to be a great warrior but must deal with hatred from the other samurai…it doesn’t help things that he’s in love with Asano’s daughter; Mika (Ko Shibasaki). One day, when being visited by a prominent Shogun, Asano’s rival Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) falls for Mika and, with the help of a witch (Rinko Kikuchi), has Asano put under a spell where he dishonors himself and must commit seppuku. Now, without a master, the samurai are now Ronin and seek revenge on those who have dishonored their master. Kai teams with Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), Asano’s most prominent counselor and they reunite the Ronin to enact justice and bring back honor to their fallen master.

She's crying because she lost her dad and just realized she's in love with Neo and
remembers what happened to the last girl that loved The One.

Oh shit, it's Shang Tsung!  Quick, hide your souls!
Once 47 Ronin came to an end, I fully realized that the film had the potential to be a decent martial arts/fantasy film. The story is great and should have been easy to make work and the cast is great (I repeat, I LIKE Keanu) but the end product was kinda dull and really didn’t feel like it was going to take off at any point. Overall, the film just feels like it is slowly tramping forward and moving like it is stuck in molasses. That really is the definitive killer of the film. Had the pace been interrupted on a few occasions with some fast pace action, the end product wouldn’t have felt so lethargic.  However, even when the film is interrupted by action, the fights just weren't that great.  Additionally, the fact that most of the Ronin barely have any screen time and the film feels like it's more like Keanu, Hiroyuki Sanada, a couple other Ronin who are allowed to be seen and the dozens of others that are barely in the background was bad and made the film feel weak.

Just so you know, one of the 47 has bitch tits.

"Um, the rest of the 47 got lost on their way here..."
While 47 Ronin isn’t a terrible film, the movie just wasn’t memorable enough to make it even average. The acting isn’t terrible and, even though I am a Keanu Reeves fan, he wasn’t that attention-grabbing. In fact, the entire cast, made up of very talented actors, all came off like they were actively trying not to steal the spotlight and it resulted in an entire cast of people doing their best to not be seen. However, at the end, their performances still weren’t that bad...they just weren't that great either.

Look, I don't think he's a bad actor.

I also liked the supernatural/fantasy element the film had—even though some of the special effects weren’t that great…

Jesus Christ, what the fuck is that thing?!?


Wait a minute...the foreign exchange student from Pretty
in Pink
was in this film?
The only real problem 47 Ronin had (beyond about 40 of those Ronin being background filler) was the fact it moved slowly and there wasn’t much action, excitement and the drama wasn’t prominent enough to make it interesting. The film has a lot of strong elements that, if utilized properly, could have made the film great or, at the very least, interesting enough where you don’t feel robbed of time after watching it. While I didn’t feel like the film was a waste of time for me, I did feel complete “meh” once the credits hit…and that was even after what I thought was a fantastic ending happened.

But it's hard to completely hate a film that has a dragon in it.

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