47 Ronin 2013

Amazon Instant Video

(269) IMDb 6.3/10
Available in HD

After a warlord banishes their kind, a band of 47 leaderless samurai must seek help from Kai (Keanu Reeves) - an enslaved half-breed - in their ultimate fight for vengeance and redemption.

Starring:
Keanu Reeves, Hiroshi Sogabe
Runtime:
1 hour 58 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

47 Ronin

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Director Carl Rinsch
Starring Keanu Reeves, Hiroshi Sogabe
Supporting actors Masayoshi Haneda, Jin Akanishi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Min Tanaka, Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada
Studio Universal Pictures
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Lister on 22 May 2014
Format: DVD
From the dodgy live-action comic book prologue to the patience-sapping epilogue, both boasting cheesy voiceover, Keanu Reeves' latest supposed comeback vehicle veers like an expensive car taken for a drive but with nowhere to go. It crashed and burned at the box office for obvious reasons: Like John Carter before it, 47 Ronin is without identity and thus without an audience.

Reeves plays Kai, a "half-breed" born into feudal Japanese society. The natives are never shy of reminding Kai of his impure blood, though the fact that they choose to twist their vocal chords around the English language to do so kind of undermines their argument. This is a movie for people who actually appreciate being warned at the cinema counter that a film has subtitles. Don't worry, no such risk here.

Anyway, Kai is taken in by the Lord Asano (Min Tanaka), and raised to be a brooding loner, lovesick for Asano's daughter (Kou Shibasaki), Mika. However, Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) also fancies Mika. With the help of wonky-eyed witch Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), Kira devises a plot to slay Lord Asano, kidnap his daughter, and rebrand Asano's men as Ronin - dishonoured samurais without masters. Out in the wild, the Ronin, led by the headstrong Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), must overcome their prejudices and join forces with Kai, in order to rescue the damsel in distress.

The costumes and production design are dazzling, deserving of that extra star. The crew here have created a sumptuous world, rich in detail. Not that we get to savour it. Like David Lean working as first assistant to Brett Ratner, never has a film combined the sublime and the ridiculously cheap-looking. On top of that, it's as if the film has been edited by production committee. The pacing is lousy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jules TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 May 2014
Format: DVD
In feudal Japan, when their Lord is bewitched & commits a crime, he is forced to perform sepppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) as punishment. Afterwards his loyal Samauri warriors are stripped of their titles, proclaimed Ronin (masterless Samurai) & banished from their province forbidden to return or face death. But knowing of the treachery committed upon their Lord, they set out to revenge his death & reclaim his honor.

As with Hollywood films that are based on true stories, we usually give them the benefit of the doubt while taking it with a pinch of salt as well. The core story of the 47 Ronin was very engrossing, and they did flesh things out for Western audiences with a few sub plots, consisting of a love story, an outsider trying to earn respect & said outsider having magical powers. In the execution it gives us plenty of time to drink in the culture & visual beauty of feudal Japan which it achieves to aplomb, while they're maybe too much talking for some, it periodically throws in various action scenes to keep you sated. Some are traditional Eastern sword fights, while the CGI laden Japanese mythology & more Western influences from other Hollywood films e.g Pirates of the Caribbean etc.. are nice embellishments/distractions & obviously done to open the film up to appeal to a wider audience.

The acting was pretty good all round, Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) puts in a decent performance in a palatable co-lead role as the solemn British/Japanese 'half breed' Kai. Alongside him are a host of Japanese actors that maintain the traditional vibe of the film as they take turns together & apart in furthering parts of the story.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful By D. Krol TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Feb 2014
Format: DVD
***This review is for the film only***

I had heard quite a lot of mixed comments about this film, some people thought it was the film of the year, while some really disliked it, but I do like Keanu Reeves so I thought I'd give it go anyway. I'm glad that I did.

Plot: It's about a group of proud Samurai who's master is killed and dishonoured and their status is reduced to Ronin. Only for them to rise up and seek revenge against the evil ruler and his magical witch, who are responsible

This film was panned by critics and became a huge box office flop but I really can't understand why. It's high adrenaline, action packed, exciting and has some absolutely mind blowing special effects. Ok Keanu Reeves does look a little out of place in a movie full of Japanese actors, playing out a truly Japanese story, but that is easily got past. There is quite a lot of Japanese language and subtitles in the film but most of it is in English so it's not too hard to follow.

The camera work and sound in this movie are what makes it really stand out, the unknown director really did a sterling job here and really immerses you into the magical world of the Ronin.
The acting for the most part is very good too and you really do develop a kind of kinship with some of the characters, which makes you really root for them and genuinely care about their fate.

All in all 47 Ronin is a fun, exciting, way to spend a couple of hours, it's visually stunning to look at and after a slowish start, the action and fantasy never lets up. Without giving too much away, it does leave the door open for a sequel but alas, due to its poor box office performance I doubt that we will ever see one.

8/10 Very good fantasy movie, harshly panned by the critics
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