Movie: 47 Ronin
My Rating: 3 stars
I think I’ve been giving Keanu Reeves a pretty hard time lately. I love making fun of his over-earnest acting style. But, I’ve actually really liked the last few movies of his that I’ve seen. John Wick was pretty spectacular. And, he gives a good performance here too, as the foundling Kai. He’s a man who collects a group of warriors to avenge their master’s death. The movie is actually based on a true story, but very loosely—an old Japanese tale of samurai avenging their master’s unjust death.
But, this movie makes things a little more exciting by adding a supernatural element. All of the misdeeds are set into action by an enchanting witch (Rinko Kikuchi). She is in league with the head of a rival family, who has his eye on our lord’s land. She bewitches him into committing an act of violence, for which he is condemned to death. Of course, Keanu knows witchcraft when he sees it, so he knows he needs to practice up on his supernatural sword fighting skills in order to beat this tricky creature and her army. And, he needs to gather enough like-minded friends if he wants to have any chance of succeeding in his quest. It’s a suicide mission, but these guys don’t care if they die. They’re willing to give their blood, sweat, and tears to kill those who have wronged them.
This is essentially a sword fight movie. There are lots of big battles and lots of soldiers getting sliced up. And of course, Keanu is the star fighter. Not only does he want to avenge the death of the man who took him in as a lost child. But, he’s also in love with his master’s daughter. He just can’t stand to see her married off to the greedy rival who orchestrated the whole thing. And, the movie succeeds in making him look cool. The other star of the movie is clearly Rinko Kikuchi. You can’t take your eyes off her when she’s on screen. She’s so evil and beautiful. She really acts like an alien creature.
I guess I’d recommend you take a peek at this movie if you get the chance. The style is very beautiful, and the scale is epic. I pretty much just watched it for all the costumes, creatures, and rogues. And, the movie definitely delivers those. Although I had expected that skeleton-tattooed man to feature more prominently in the movie for how much space he takes up on the promotional poster. I wanted to see more of him. But everything else met my expectations.