Hello all, and welcome to my review of 47 Ronin! 😀
Plot (taken from Fandango):
“Based on a true-life 18th century tale, this fantasy epic tells a dramatic tale of clan warfare and revenge surrounding a band of 47 loyal samurai seeking vengeance after their master is murdered.”
Keanu Reeves (Kai) has a very distinct acting style I think, which can really make certain roles shine, and others not as much. In this case, I think he was perfect as Kai. I loved the quiet intensity he gave to this character. I was also impressed by his fight scenes.
Hiroyuki Sanada (Oishi) Is. Amazing. Just saying. I really liked his character, and how he began to look at things differently as the movie progressed.
Kou Shibasaki (Mika) played a strong heroine that I really respected. Even though she had no choice in the things that happened, and what she was required to do because of tradition, she was resilient. Even though the bad guys tried, they couldn’t crush her spirit – which is a trait you know I love. 🙂
Tadanobu Asano (Lord Kira) played a fantastic villain. I feel like movies like this are often only as good as their villains, and this one did not disappoint at all. He played an oily, greedy kind of villain that you really want to see go down in a big way by the end of the movie.
Rinko Kikuchi (Witch) Is. Also. Amazing. I loved this villain. She was one of those truly scary ones to me because she was unpredictable, and her brand of evil was mainly more about her nature than an actual desire for power.
Min Tanaka (Lord Asano) played a great stoic character. Just like with Oishi and Kai, he had a quiet strength that I really liked.
Let me start out by saying that I don’t think this was nearly as bad as the critics are making it out to be. In fact, I’m actually going to buy this one.
On Rotten Tomatoes it only has a 13% from the critics and a 57% from audiences at the moment. I think some of the biggest criticisms I’ve seen for this one are the storyline itself, the pacing, and the CG – and I disagree on every point, lol.
I love Japanese movies – anime, live action, or just movies that take place in Japan – lol, whatever you want to throw at me. 😀 So this one drew me in easily because 1) IT HAS SAMURAI!!!! And 2) it’s based on the true story of a group of samurai in 18’th century Japan who avenged the murder of their master.
As far as the story and pacing go, I honestly feel like it fits an 18’th century Japanese tale. Sometimes it did move a little slower than some would like in an action movie, but I don’t think that was such a bad thing considering the subject. I’m glad it wasn’t just one fight scene after another. Lol, I know it’s shocking to hear me say that considering my love of explosions and epic battles, but I think that the way they paced it made it so that the story itself was more the focus than the fighting.
Since I’m not familiar with the original tale, I can’t tell you if they tweaked the story (beyond the addition of the fantasy), but I did end up a lot more emotionally engaged in the story than I thought I would be.
And I loved the love story here as well, except that it was so tragic. I get why this one had to end the way it did, but I kind of wish they had taken another huge liberty here and given me warm fuzzies. ;P
Don’t they know I need warm fuzzies to survive?
There’s this one line Kai says to Mika at the end of the movie ~*sniffle*~ and I cried like a total girl, damn them.
Oh, you’ll know when you get there.
Normally, I’m all tough like this (lets pretend):
And I don’t cry, damn them all.
Except this one time… And City of Angels… And…
Back to epic battles!
Ah, much better. XD
I was pleasantly surprised by just how well I think Keanu Reeves handled the fight scenes. He was brutal and quick, and his moves were believable. It reminded me a tiny bit of the rugged fighting style Jet Li had in Unleashed (also an amazing movie you should totally watch, but for different reasons).
Admittedly, the CG was not seamless, but it was still impressive to me. I would say it falls more towards the good end of the spectrum, compared to other movies like D Wars (chocolate cake level awful) and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (epic level fantastic).
Lol, they did take some big liberties by adding fantasy elements, but you know I loved that too. 😀 And I loved it when I recognized the creatures they used.
My Rating for 47 Ronin: Cash-Worthy – The only thing that stops this from being Epic, in my opinion (take it with a grain of salt), is the ending. You know me by now, lol. You know I need my sunshine and butterflies at the end. This one will be beside City of Angels on my shelf, which I also love, and I’ll only watch it probably once a year, and spend the rest of the day eating chocolate cake to make it better – but it truly is a great story, and well worth the tears at the end. Check this one out if you like movies like Seven Samurai or Shinobi – Heart Under Blade, or enjoy Samurai movies or Japanese legend movies in general, and don’t mind them taking some liberties by throwing in some fantasy elements.
My Rating System:
Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.
Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.
Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.
Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.
Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.
The artwork I used in my greeting is “Samurai Girl” by Rin001, on DeviantArt.