I held off on reviewing “Ronin 47” for as long as I could, but on a day in Dallas with the rain coming down in vertical sheets, and virtually nothing to do, I broke down and watched the movie. I was not disappointed: The movie was as silly as expected.
Keanu Reeves, who has made a career of being some kind of kung fu, samuraized, futuristic warrior, plays Kai; a half-breed in late medieval Japan, who tries to save face for Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) in a duel against Lord Akira’s (Tadanobu Asano) #1 ranked samurai after Asano’s man is poisoned. The problem with the situation is that Kai is not an actual samurai, which apparently breaks all international samurai protocol, and after Kai is unmasked, Asano must pay the price by committing seppuku (suicide by knife to the gut). After Asano’s death his 46 samurai are disgracefully banished and his daughter Mika (Ko Shibasaki) is forced to marry Akira’s son. The 46 samurai are then rallied by Kai (Ronin #47) to seek vengeance for the unjust punishment.
We now have a movie with a bunch of sword wielding samurai battling it out with each other, while dragons, witches, and other creatures that have nothing to do with the story are thrown in for good measure. The only redeeming quality of the movie is the cool costumes that they wear. I’m not exactly sure where the financing for this kind of big budget nonsense comes from, but if the money men want to throw a few bucks my way, I will gladly accept. Now that I have that off my chest, I think I will watch the Player’s Championship for a while and watch some golf. I know that watching golf is like watching paint dry, but surely it cannot be as worthless as trying to write three hundred words reviewing this movie. (Rated PG-13; 119 minutes.)
Reviewer’s Note: Believe it or not, “Ronin 47” is based on a true story.
My Rating: 1 of 5 Samurai Silliness.