28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Thrills Ahead! Excellent Adventure
, 28 Dec. 2013
This review is from: 47 Ronin [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
First the negatives: I recently read that one of the reasons '47 Ronin' cost so much to make is that the director insisted on filming it with 3D cameras (rather than adding the 3D in post-production), which is surprising, as the 3D in the movie is so subtle (for 'subtle' read 'virtually non-existent') that in my opinion, it's not really worth paying the extra to see the movie in that format. Apart from some good fire effects, there's not much added to the film by the 3D. In fact, watching the movie wearing those 3D specs actually detracts from the experience, as the fantastic colour palette of the sets and costumes in the first half of the film, consisting mainly of vivid reds, yellow and orange, appears muted through shaded lenses. Also, if you've seen the trailer and you can't wait to see Keanu going mano-a-mano with the huge armoured bloke, apart from a brief fight at the start of the movie (in an exhibition for the Shogun) he never does!
However, those criticisms aside, I'd definitely recommend '47 Ronin' to anyone looking for a good action adventure. Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a 'half-breed' raised by nobleman Lord Asano in feudal Japan. Asano is tricked into killing himself by evil Lord Kira, and his samurai are decreed by the Shogun to be 'ronin'(masterless samurai) and commanded never to seek revenge for their master's death. However, they are determined to get revenge on Kira, even if it means their deaths, or teaming up with Kai, who is generally despised by the men (got that? phew!).
A lot of the second half of the movie is taken up with characters going on various quests, first to free Kai from captivity in 'Dutch Town' (when it all goes a bit 'Pirates of the Caribbean'), and then a journey to a haunted forest to obtain mystical swords from an order of demonic monks.The film culminates with an assault by Kai and his band of men on Lord Kira's fortress, where they have to take on both men and monsters.
I really enjoyed '47 Ronin'. The sets and costumes are fantastic, and there are plenty of exciting action sequences. The ending is quite downbeat, but also inevitable. A solid 3.5/5 and definitely worth seeing on the big screen, although it should look fantastic on blu-ray.
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