“47 Ronin” – Hardly A ‘Win’

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by Nadin P. 
You think you’ve seen everything in you life… and then Samurai Keanu Reeves happens.
No, it’s not a joke!

If we forget for, like, a moment or two, or for about 120 minutes, that he looks NOTHING like a Japanese guy, even half-Japanese (I mean, come on!!) 47 Ronin is worth checking out if only because of how beautiful it is. And this is probably it.   

Just to sum it up real quick – 47 Ronin is a story of a half-breed named Kai (Reeves) who joins 47 exiled Samurai to help them fight the evil guy who took over the land said Samurai were banished from after the disgraced death of their master. And of course this needs to happen before the bad guy gets to marry the girl Kai has had a crush on since they were teens. To make it more fun, the bad guy has an army of human and supernatural sidekicks, but the Samurai are brave and skillful and every kind of awesome. You get the idea. 
My favorite part about the film?
SPOILER ALERT!!!
Everyone dies! Like, 95% of the characters you see during the first 110 minutes of the movie. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that just because the film sort of sucked, but because I swear to God I would’ve punched someone if it had a soap-opera-happily-ever-after kind of ending.
Their biggest mistake was leaving out a whole lot of really important information while focusing on the details that didn’t quite add up to the story in general. For example, I would’ve really loved to know the origins and the story of the tribe that raised Kai before he ran away from them. We only got a glimpse of them but – Oh, my God, were they half birds? What kind of magic they possessed?
Obviously, it wasn’t a part of the history like 47 Samurai who avenged their leader in the 18th century and later were sentenced to death through suicide for said avenging, which apparently qualified as murder. Which is fascinating, like all of the Japanese history. But those magical creatures? It was plain cruel not to reveal more about them. Also, the witch lady that sided with the bad guys seemed to have possessed the same kind of magic. Which, again, wasn’t explained!
All in all, 47 Ronin managed to throw a bunch of stories in the mix and then seemed to have forgotten to tie up half of them. One sure would have the “What the hell just happened?!” feeling after leaving the theatre 2 hours later.
Believe it or not, the Japanese press called 47 Ronin the second worst thing that have happened to the country this century (the first being the tsunami, obviously), and I can see why. It was sloppy, full of plot holes and so messy overall it was impossible to keep track of its odds and ends. Whatever the filmmakers were going for, they didn’t get there. Not by a long shot. Yet, if you’re up for some fun and have no expectation whatsoever, check it out. It is confusing but hardly boring!
2,5*/5*

 

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Four screenwriters candidly writing about film, television, novels, comic books, video games, and fanfiction.

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