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47 Ronin is director Carl Erik Rinsch’s reworking of a classic Japanese tale of 47 shamed Samurai warriors setting out on an epic quest to claim revenge for their master, Lord Asano, who loses his lands and is sentenced to death because of the trickery of evil Lord Kira and his partner in crime, the cunning changeling witch, Mizuki.
Keanu plays Kai, a half Japanese – half Californian character as far as I could work out who is taken in by Lord Asano as a child. Although Kai shows great ability and is clearly a fine warrior he can never be Samurai because he lacks the pure blood required for such giddy heights of warriordom.
Kai is forced to live out in the woods shunned by the Samurai and bearing his crutch of the impossible love between him and Lord Asano’s daughter. I think its love anyway. Mika, Asano’s daughter is definitely in love with Kai but the viewer feels a lack of returned emotion. Keanu acts Kai with one expression throughout – the confused look of a dyslexic child at a spelling bee considering the word ‘pterodactyl’.
The movie had a huge budget of $175 million dollars which presumably got spent somewhere, cocaine and stripper ‘team building’ in Las Vegas by the looks of things. Perhaps on sexy Samurai armour all round and the witches flowing gowns, which to be fair do look pretty cool. In fact the witch Mizuki is the highlight of the movie throughout although this is no great accolade given her competition.
Basically there is no redemption here, the movie is absolute rubbish which probably explains why the studio spent two years umming and aahing over whether to release it or not. It’s remotely possible that some amazing things happened in the parts that I drifted off in but I seriously doubt it.
My suggestion is that Keanu packs in the acting and takes up high stakes poker – let’s face it the guy would be totally unreadable and presumably has the cash to play. It would be easy to list 47 more enjoyable things than 47 Ronin, but why stop there? I can think of 470 more enjoyable things including going to see any other movie ever, apart from possibly ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ which features Keanu Reeves acting with similar depth to a Madame Tussauds waxwork and possibly the least credible plot in history.
The good news is that if you live in Samui there is a very high chance a new selection of movies is now at the cinema by the time you read this review that won’t include 47 Ronin. So if for some bizarre reason this has made you feel the need to rush to Major Cineplex demanding tickets then I suggest you go today before it’s replaced. Alternatively avoid it like the plague unless you can’t sleep in which case this reviewer thoroughly recommends it.
Star Rating: 1/5