Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rinko Kikuchi, Ko Shibasaki, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tadanobu Asano
Director: Carl Rinsch
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Run Time: 119 minutes
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I have been following “47 Ronin” and really looking forward to “47 Ronin”. I am a big fan of Keanu Reeves and I thought that him in a $170 million martial arts film would be epic. After watching it finally though, I was left a little disappointing and kind of bored like most people that saw it. I personally have no idea how they spent that much money because I have seen films like “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon”, which looks much better and was make for $25 million. I know the film has production problems and reshoot after reshoot but it didn’t really help make the film more interesting. I would recommend watching this once if you are a fan of the genre and its stars.
Official Premise: After a treacherous warlord (Asano) kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. Battling across a savage world of mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors, the ronin must seek help from Kai (Reeves), an enslaved half-breed they once rejected, in their ultimate fight for redemption.
Keanu Reeves is front and center among an otherwise all international cast that includes Hiroyuki Sanada (TV’s “Revenge”, “The Last Samurai”). Tadanobu Asano (“The Wolverine”, “Thor: The Dark World”) as Lord Kira. Rinko Kikuchi (“Pacific Rim”) is amazing as the Witch, Ko Shibasaki (“One Missed Call”). The acting is great but the roles are rather one dimensional. Despite the film itself, I thought that Reeves was able to hold his own amongst the rest of the cast and give a good performance as well.
Universal Studios delivered this film as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + HD Digital UltraViolet copy. The film was post converted into 3D (which I haven’t heard great things about anyway) but we had a chance to review this in standard Blu-ray. The 1080p was impressive. The visual effects played out very nicely and very detailed, especially the creatures. The costumes, the locations, the sets are all very colorful and vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 was pretty powerful and packed a nice punch. Ilan Eshkeri’s score was also a highlight for me.
In terms of special features, they are not too shabby either. “Keanu & Kai” features the star talksing about his roe. “Steel Fury: The Fights of 47 Ronin” looks into the choreography and action sequences. “Myths, Magic & Monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin” dives deep into the creatures of ancient Japanese folklore used in the film. Those extras above are just available exclusively on Blu-ray for a limited time only. The rest of the extras are available on both the Blu-ray and DVD discs. “Re-Forging the Legend” tells the actual story of 47 Ronin and the road of how the filmmakers brought this film to the big screen. Lastly, there a a few deleted scenes included wrapping up the extras.