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13 Assassins

104 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005WBXEKU

Reviews

Based on actual events that served as the inspiration for the 1963 film of the same name, Takashi Miike's 13 ASSASSINS follows a group of noble samurai as they seek to slay a tyrannical, politically connected lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Japan, 1844: as the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. Recognizing the dangers to both his country and its citizens should the lord manage to gain any more power, a concerned government official secretly recruits 13 of the most skilled swordsmen he can find to defeat the evil lord once and for all. But reaching their target won't be easy, because the elusive lord is constantly flanked by legions of fearless bodyguards. Realizing that the bodyguards would decimate his modest task force in a traditional battle, the assassins' leader (Koji Yakusho) lays an ingenious trap that will give his men the upper hand, and waits patiently for their prey to take the bait.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Sathiah on 5 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully crafted battle movie in the times of the Samurais. Think Tarantino, Peckinpah, Kurosawa but revised and updated. Whirlwind action, great battle scenes, a credible (bad-bad) villain, intelligent dialogues (a debate on the duty of a samurai: to stay loyal to and defend his lord however bad he behaves or to defend his oppressed subjects?), including comic relief punctuating the action in the person of a irreverent dilettante drifter who joins the 12 rebels and proves to be a gem.
Very entertaining and beautifully shot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GB on 2 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
NO SPOILERS

I've never seen a "samurai" film except for the Last Samurai with Tom cruise so I wasn't sure if it was my type of film but I decided to buy it due to recommendations and the bargain price. I must say that it was amazing with pretty spectacular acting even down to the child that was tied up. The cinematography was really well done and you can imagine that this was set in the 1800s easily. I would recommend it on blu-ray for the landscapes. The main actors are well written, and funny at times which you can't see from the trailer and because they are such good actors you start to care about the 13 and view them as real people and not invincible soldiers.

There is a lot of violence as you can imagine with some harrowing scenes but they don't really seem exploitative like Tarantino's films and are more to show the brutality of the time and are realistic. The last hour is amazing and just flies by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
13 Assassins is a remake of an old black and white samurai film with Takashi Miike directing. I am new to the film and to Miike so this is a great introduction to both. The set-up is simple. Corrupt and evil young lord is hunted down by 13 samurai who know that they must succeed or else their lands will eventually be under the control of the young heir. Their mission isn't legal and their mark knows they are coming.

The first half (just over actually) is a set-up for the final 50 minutes. Its dialogue heavy and covers the formation of the 13 and their plans to ambush their mark and his troops. If there is one criticism of the first half then it would be that not all the characters are fleshed out enough that you discern them in the last part. However, its brilliantly shot and paced. Pace is something this film does well. Then once our 13 have set the trap we get to the second half of the film. The last fifty minutes. I read that the last fifty minutes was an extended fight sequence and struggled to believe this. Having watched it I can vouch that it is a thrilling, bloody and brilliant battle that lasts throughout with pace and planning. The whole sequence works and it is incredibly well planned and executed. Whilst its hard to follow the characters at times it fizzes along with an ever increasing body count until we get to the conclusion. Its hard not to feel a little dazed by the whole battle at the end.

The film works on two levels. Firstly it shows the cultural side of the era and also the slow paced political manoeuvrings that happened. In the first half this really worked for me and I enjoyed that aspect a lot. However, when the film cuts loose it really does so with style and vision and you are left in awe of the production planning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BavaBlood on 1 July 2012
Format: DVD
I have seen many samurai films and many of Takashi Miike's films. As a director I have found him to be very inconsistent. I thought Audition is a great film and I also enjoyed The Happiness of the Katakuris, Dead Or Alive and Graveyard of Honor. I hated Gozu and thought Sukiyaka Western was just terrible. With 13 Assassins it seems that the director has finally grown up and delivered arguably his best work. A group of skilled samurai undertake a suicidal mission to kill a sadistic Lord and in the climatic showdown must fight his army of hundreds of men. The first two thirds of the film build the story, characters and suspsense artfully. It is well acted and shot in a classic style with excellent cinematography. The Lord is shown at his most merciless raping and killing for pure sadistic enjoyment. In the last forty minute or so we are treated to one of the most epic and brilliantly staged battle scenes ever put on film. It is relentless, bloody, realistic (mostly) and moving. Miike handles the action superbly without ever reverting to the rather adolescent shock tactics or silliness that have spoiled some of his other films. I enjoyed every minute of this film and it is now on of my all-time favourites. The only minor flaw is a slightly dodgy CGI shot of cattle on fire (yes, that's what I said) but it's a minor quibble. A wonderful film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lee Byrne on 11 April 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
One of my favourite Samurai films, great action, stunning sets and very well directed. A great addition to any collection
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By jamespiggott5 on 13 May 2011
Format: DVD
Though most media reviews seem to focus on the 45 minute battle sequence, this does 13 Assassins a disservice. The opening 1hr 15mins are what makes this film - they build up the tension, set-up the characters and emotionally connect you to their plight in a way that too many samurai films (chanbara) fail to do. The fact Miike achieves this with 15 major characters (the 13 assassins, Lord Naritsugu and Hanbei Kitou) most of whom you actually learn little or nothing about is testimony to his skill. The atrocities committed by Naritsugu are captured on screen perfectly - we rarely see the acts themselves, but the consequences are unveiled (quite literally in one case) before our eyes in a brutual realism that allows us to understand why the ultimate mission must succeed.

Without being a hypocrite - the final battle is stunning. Its length could all too easily undermine it, however Miike has created a sequence in which the action is relentless yet intelligent. You always understand where each character is and at which stage of the plan they are - yet very little is actually said. The part with the building made the whole cinema gasp.

Rarely have I finished a film and been so desperate to watch it again immediately.

I only hope its limited UK release does not stop too many people getting to experience what I hope will become a future classic for cinephiles.
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