Year of Release: 2013
Director: Carl Rinsch
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jin Akanishi
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
"47 Ronin" is a well known (and true story) in Japan, and has in fact been tackled before by other directors. Carl Rinsch, who made his name with commercials (for Nexus for instance), works with a script that combines the more authentic attempt at capturing the samurai traditions and code of honor, with the more fantastical elements of the supernatural. This hybrid take on the story aims to create a more entertaining and palatable experience for audiences who are not familiar with certain cultural references. However the main issue with the film, ends up being the script itself, which fails to create much depth for any of the characters, including the central love couple of Kai and Mika. The actors try their best to bring these cliches to life, but there's only so much they can effectively create from such limited material. Visually the film is stunning, with fantastic work from production designer Jan Roelfs (who worked on Sally Potter's "Orlando" for instance), the beautiful cinematography from John Mathieson (who has worked extensively with Ridley Scott) and impressive visual effects. The film has nonetheless a fair entertaining momentum to it, despite the flaws.