47 Ronin never stood a chance, with re-writes ands re-shoots and a couple of missed release dates, coupled with a real negative buzz surrounding the film before it was even released, people were calling it a bomb before it was even given the chance to put up a fight.
So the question most people are probably thinking, is how bad is it.
I wouldn’t call it bad. Misunderstood and misguided maybe.
47 Ronin’s trailer promises a mystical action film, loosely based on what is essential a nation legend in Japan. By loosely, I mean the addition of an evil entity and a half-breed (and excuse to have a westerner, Reeves, in the film). The film was set up to appeal to the short attention span of a consumerist society.
And in that it fails.
47 Ronin tries to honour the legend by telling the story and putting honour, loyalty and redemption above the action. Going into the film looking forward to a visually spectacular action feast, I came out a little disappointed. Sure the film starts out with some action to set up our hero, and there’s a couple of skirmishes along the way, but the main action is left till the end of the film, and one massive battle.
Not exactly an adrenaline pumping ride.
Visually the film was a sumptuous feast for the eyes, with some great choreographed scenes and nice special effects. The story, on reflection, is where the film excels. After I’d gone home disappointed and thought about the film, I started to appreciate it more. The trouble is, I’m not sure what I would have felt if I had going into it expecting a historical drama.
Maybe like the Samurai of the story, who are cast out to wander the land, so it is the fate of the film never to realise it’s true potential.
Rating: M Violence.