47 Ronin (2013) - An epic fantasy movie about a legendary tale of Japanese culture - 8/10 (17/01/14)
"47 Ronin" is a vivid fantasy movie that retells a famous legend in ancient Japan when forty-seven Ronin went out to avenge their master who had to commit suicide after a series of conspiracies and unlucky events. Of course, this movie has some historical inaccuracies but that's not an issue. This colourful tale should please to anybody who cares about Japanese culture in particular or epic fantasy movies in general.
What I liked about the movie is that nearly all actors are still Japanese and actually have accents as well. Keanu Reeves is playing one of the leading roles but to my positive surprise, he doesn't take too much space and fits very well into this story. This is a lot more authentic than "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise for example. In general, the acting in here is very well done. The movie features moments of anger, defeat, despair, guilt, humour, jealousy, loyalty, romance, sadness and victory and all these emotions are captured very well by the actors.
The characters in the movie are also quite diversified even though a little bit stereotypical. From the brave leader of the Ronin over the permanently jealous samurai and its rejected half-breed brother in arms to the arrogant villain who gets supported by a beautiful witch and a mysterious Lovecraftian samurai, the viewers are introduced to many epic characters.
The movie also convinces with great settings, light and visual effects. The three-dimensional version is worth watching and has some spectacular moments. The places shown in this movie from the slave market over the haunted forest and the creeping temple to the villain's residence in the mountains are intriguing and mysterious.
The story itself is rather simplistic and easy to follow but the philosophical topic of honour which is this movie's guiding line is an interesting an typically Japanese topic and offers some food for thought.
Even though this movie doesn't innovate the action or adventure genre, this cinematic odyssey was highly entertaining from my point of view. I can't find any major flaws in here either. From an objective point of view, seven points are appropriate for this movie that is really worth to be experienced in cinema. It's due to my particular interest in ancient Asian cultures that this movie got me even more addicted and that's why I'm ultimately adding one more point. If you're intrigued by my review, you will also be by this film.« Nazotoki Wa Dinner No Ato De / The After-Dinner Mysteries (2013) - "Death On The Nile" meets "The Naked Gun" - 7/10 (13/01/14)Gam-si-ja-deul / Cold Eyes (2013) - A grounded action-thriller with three addicting main characters - 7/10 (18/01/14) »