47 Ronin (2013)
Directed by: Carl Rinsch
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Jin Akanishi
Plot: A few hundred years ago in Japan, a group of disgraced Samurai vow revenge when their lord is dishonored and murdered by the treacherous lord Kira. And for some reason Keanu Reeves is there too.
Rating: PG-13 for swords and the stabbing and slashing that comes with swords.
The swords and samurai epic 47 Ronin takes place in medieval Japan, where according to the narrator, Emperors and Lords ruled the land, Samurais protected them with honor, and there was magic, witchcraft, and dragons.
Hey, you weren’t there. How do you know there weren’t any dragons? They probably rode them around like horses or kept them as pets. We really can’t be sure. Even Wikipedia doesn’t know. I checked.
One day Lord Asano, leader of the Ako domain, finds a little boy lost in the woods. The boy appears to possess magic powers, but Asano decides to take him home to his city, but since the boy is half English, his status among the townspeople and the Samurai is somewhere between village leper and a three legged dog. The half Japanese boy Kai grows up to be Keanu Reeves, who as an adult is still scorned by the Samurai, particularly Asano’s chief Samurai Oishi (Sanada) but is secretly dating Asano’s daughter Princess Miko (Shibasaki) because she’s attracted to unpopular bad boys her Dad won’t allow in the house and on the carpet.
Asano and Miko are pleased as punch because the big honcho of Japan – The Shogun is visiting Ako to inspect things and to make sure everyone is Japanese enough I guess. But evil Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) with the help of his sexy Witch (Rinko Kikuchi) has a plan to mess things up at the big Samurai duel and humiliate Asano. Kai tries to stop Kira’s treacherous plans, but since he’s half English he’s beaten like a drum at Burning Man and a disgraced Asano must commit seppuku (a real ugly form of suicide) because The Shogun is a real hardass.
Oishi and his warriors are now Ronin, master less Samurai who must live the rest of their lives in shame and never seek revenge against the man who dissed their master. Oishi is thrown in a dungeon to keep him from going all stabby on Lord Kira, who plans to marry Miko in a year and take over Ako.
Nearly a year later Oishi is released from captivity. Kira thinks he has broken Oishi’s will to seek revenge, but Oishi is determined now more than ever to go extra stabby on Kira before he can take over his kingdom.
Note to all bad guys out there – never release the man who wants to kill you from the dungeon a week before your big plan is about to come to fruition! Come on! That’s on page one of the bad guy manual! Get your head out of your back porch rookie!
Anyhoo, Oishi sets out to reassemble his army and stop Kira. He first sets free Kai who has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for an infielder and a minor league prospect and..
Oh. Sorry, Kai was sold to a band of pirates and spends his days fighting in an arena of death.
I think I would prefer the latter. I’ve seen the Pirates play.
Oishi, Kai, and Oishi’s son Chikara (Jin Akanishi) locate the other Ronin, who have conveniently been living in the woods about a mile outside of Ako and together form a plan to take out Kira or die trying.
47 Ronin moves along as Kai meets up with some mystical dudes he knew as a kid who inform him he’s got magic powers that enable him to do incredible things very much like another Character Reeves played in another action epic 15 years earlier minus the long dark coats, the endless gunfire, and that Morpheus “he’s the one” crap.
Oishi and the Ronin bluff their way back into their old castle where Kira and reluctant Bride to be Miko are having a party on the eve of their wedding. Swords are drawn, armies clash, witches do witch stuff, foes are vanquished, and the palace caterers have a lot of cleaning up to do when the smoke clears. Unfortunately Oishi, Kai, and the Ronin don’t ride off happily into the sunset because they signed an oath to kill themselves when they avenge their Master’s death.
Which they do.
And then the movie is over.
47 Ronin is a valiant effort by everyone involved, but the results are more “direct to DVD” than “big time blockbuster.”
Plus, you see this menacing tattoo covered guy with the flintlock pistol who is featured prominently on the movie poster?
He’s in the movie for three seconds.
I kid you not. This freak has a smaller part in 47 Ronin than Stan Lee in every Marvel movie, and he’s hanging with Keanu on the one sheet. No, don’t put Oishi or Chikara on there, give the tattoo boy with one line second billing!
I guess it’s all about who you know. Typical Hollywood!
Posted on January 19, 2015, in Action Movies, Adventure Movies, Fantasy, Funny, Humor, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews and tagged 47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves, Samurai. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.