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47 Ronin

By MICHAEL NORDINE
47 Ronin’s most enjoyable moments are also its most ludicrous. These include, but are not limited to: an attack from a roving beast that might generously be described as “mythical”; a shape-shifting witch helping a court official usurp his rival’s power, thereby springing the masterless samurai of the title into vengeful action; and a pep talk beginning with the words, “What I propose ends in death.” Keep in mind that Carl Erik Rinsch’s $175 million film is based on actual 18th-century events, happenings that presumably did not resemble Mortal Kombat or Princess Mononoke in the slightest. These fantastical elements are never acknowledged as such, which is probably a good thing. Any in-depth explanation of how and why the “half-breed” played by Keanu Reeves ended up exiled to a Dutch island, forced to fight a giant to the death, would only distract from the goofy spectacle of it all. All of which is a long way of saying that Rinsch’s take on one of Japan’s most famous stories is a curious folly, albeit an almost endearingly sincere (and strange) one that seems to revere its legendary source material as much as it distorts it.
 
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Release Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Intense Sequences of Action, Intense Sequences of Violence, Some Disturbing Images, Thematic Elements ]
  • Critic's Score: C
  • Starring: Keanu Reeves [Kai], Hiroyuki Sanada [Oishi], Tadanobu Asano [Lord Kira], Rinko Kikuchi [Witch], Ko Shibasaki [Mika], Min Tanaka [Lord Asano], Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa [Shogun Tsunayoshi], Jin Akanishi [Chikara], Masayoshi Haneda [Yasuno], Hiroshi Sogabe [Hazama], Takato Yonemoto [Basho], Hiroshi Yamada [Hara], Shu Nakajima [Horibe], Neil Fingleton [Lovecraftian Samurai], Natsuki Kunimoto [Riku]
  • Directed by: Carl Rinsch [Director], Chris Morgan [Screenwriter], Hossein Amini [Screenwriter], Pamela Abdy [Producer], Eric McLeod [Producer], Scott Stuber [Executive Producer], Chris Fenton [Executive Producer], Walter Hamada [Executive Producer], John Mathieson [Cinematographer], Jan Roelfs [Production Design], Stuart Baird [Film Editor], Ilan Eshkeri [Original Music], Penny Rose [Costume Designer], Denise Chamian [Casting], Priscilla John [Casting], Yoko Narahashi [Casting], Gary Freeman [Supervising Art Direction], Elli Griff [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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