47 Ronin


Action / Adventure / Drama / Fantasy


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March 21, 2014 at 04:46 AM



Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shogun Tsunayoshi
Rinko Kikuchi as Witch
Hiroyuki Sanada as Ôishi
3D 720p 1080p
1.85 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 4 / 19
869.52 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 18 / 117
1.85 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 21 / 95

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sfoulk526 10 / 10

A nicely executed movie, very Japanese, good mythology

My wife and I saw this movie panned by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and the only conclusion we came to is they just were not sensitive to the culture of Japanese mythology. The movie was excellent. We had been dying to see it since the first announcements, and despite the critics reviews, we went. Thank goodness we did.

The special effects were good, the story was good. Keanu Reeves did not come off as Bwana, the white savior of the poor little Japanese people, as some people might think, as per the usual American movies. He did stand out, but it was well shared with the Japanese actors.

The story itself is not American, and I believe that may have thrown off critics. The ending is unusual, though I will not spoil it for you.

I recommend this movie highly. Should you have the itch as we did, see it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by shawneofthedead 6 / 10

An odd, fantastical twist on a true story - not as bad as you're expecting, though not as good as history would have it.

It never bodes well for a film when its release date is delayed - much less when it's been pushed back a whole year, ostensibly to accommodate reshoots that would bump up Keanu Reeves' completely imaginary role in a Western blockbuster take on a classic, awe-inspiring tale right out of the Japanese history books. That way lies disaster and madness, one would think - and certainly the bland, monster-heavy trailers for 47 Ronin did the film no favours. Smack down your inner critic, however, and this epic fantasy flick - for that's what it is - turns out to be reasonably palatable fare.

The bare bones of the true story are all there: the kindly Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) is ordered to commit seppuku - ritual suicide by disembowelment - when he almost mortally offends Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano - a nicely ironic name if ever there was one). This renders all the honourable samurai in Asano's service masterless i.e., ronin. Led by the noble Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the loyal band of 47 ronin vow to avenge Asano - even though they have been ordered by their Shogun (top military commander) not to do so.

What's less accurate, of course, is pretty much all the rest of it. Reeves plays Kai, a half-British, half-Japanese orphan who's taken in by Asano but treated like an outcast by everyone in the household - except, of course, for Asano's loving daughter Mika (Kou Shibasaki). Kira's nefarious plans have the support of Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), a witch who can apparently take any form she likes: wolf, snake or dragon. It's all a bit nonsensical, especially when Kai tries to get swords for the ronin amongst some pretty creepy folk who have gone from society's outcasts to being part of what looks like a supernatural cult.

In other words, 47 Ronin is a faintly ridiculous addition to the wealth of Chūshingura - fictionalised accounts of the 47 ronin tale - that already exist in Japan. It's the kind of big, dumb blockbuster in which the good guys literally live to die another day as long as the plot calls for it. These fearless ronin even survive when the villain is protected by a witch with crazy mystical powers! She can set an entire field on fire, create poisonous spiders and turn into a dragon! And the ronin - at least 47 of them - live anyway! It's crazy!

That's what makes it all the more surprising when 47 Ronin turns out to be... well,actually not half-bad. Once you've accepted the sillier aspects of the film for what they are, it's easy to get swept along by its very earnest drama and spectacle. Reeves' storyline is a made-up jumble of nonsense, but is played very straight - this is, in effect, Sad Keanu: The Movie - and it just about works. Casting Reeves as the outsider allows him to do what he does best: play the role with stony-faced reserve, whether he's levelling up by battling demons in cage matches or pining moodily after Mika. Kai's restrained love story with Mika is fairly predictable stuff, with the girl fading a little too much into the background (don't expect any bloodletting from Shibasaki, Battle Royale fans), but it's salvaged by the rather non-Hollywood way in which it all ends.

For all that Reeves takes centre stage in the publicity campaign, the film belongs just as much to Sanada's Oishi. He undertakes a more arduous emotional journey: one that takes him from grudging to full-hearted acceptance of Kai's worth as a warrior and comrade. His relationship with his family is more fully examined than Kai's unwavering loyalty to the Asano clan. As Oishi plots his course of action, one that will bring him shame for disobeying the Shogun even as he avenges his master, he warns his wife and son Chikara (Jin Akanishi) to disavow him. Their reactions provide some of the most emotionally resonant moments in the entire film.

All things considered, the title of the film is a bit of a misnomer - it would more accurately be called 2 Ronin, subtitled Oishi And Kai's Excellent Adventure - and it suffers from a lamentable lack of humour and historical accuracy. But it's not a complete travesty. Tucked away beneath a layer of mystical beasts and witches lies a story with enough heart, nobility and soul to survive even the oddest twists and turns.

Reviewed by slayerjmk95 7 / 10

An Entertaining Samurai Epic That Falls Short

47 Ronin is a highly fictionalized take on the story of the 47 ronin who took revenge on a court official who had the 47's leader commit seppuku. In the film, Keanu Reeves portrays Kai, a half-British Half-Japanese outcast who is called upon by Oishi, the leader of the 47. The 47 seek revenge on Lord Kira, who also has an evil witch (Rinko Kikuchi) serving under him, who killed their master.

The movie itself looks absolutely phenomenal, with amazing visual effects, an emotional and gripping musical score, and strong performances from Keanu and Hiroyuki Sanada, who portrays Oishi. The major problem that i saw with the movie was that, it was over way too fast. They left out important character development for the witch and a few other characters, which really could have added more emotional flame to the film. Plus, the movie overall could have easily been twenty, thirty minutes longer. If it were, i would say it can rank alongside 13 Assassins and The Last Samurai. The script was well-written in terms of dialogue (some cheesy lines), but the overall script was devoid of real depth and thought. Then, Carl Erik Rinsch's directing was actually pretty good, but had a few too many cut-aways.

47 Ronin is an extremely action-packed samurai/fantasy epic that is something you don't want to miss on the big-screen (for a cheap price). Though, if you want to see something award-worthy in terms of writing and directing, hope for a Director's/Extended cut on disc, for you won't find it here. But great performances, visual effects and emotion really help make this movie stand out, even with The Desolation of Smaug as competition.

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