Flash Movie Review: 47 Ronin
I am always eager to read or hear a good story. The stories from friends and family are special to listen to since there is the personal aspect to them; for example, a friend telling me how the unusual mantle clock on their dresser came to them from their grandfather. I only wish I knew the story behind a silver cup that was given to me that belonged to my great, great grandfather; imagine what kind of tale that would be. Another type of story I enjoy are the ones that have to do with public places like the reasons why the city of Chicago reversed the direction of the Chicago River or the true story behind the stock exchange building in Savannah, Georgia. When it comes to movies, I am always looking to be entertained by a good story. With regards to this adventure fantasy film, I thought it would be especially interesting since the film was based on an 18th century Japanese story about samurai. Never accepted as a true member of the village, the leader of a band of samurai named Oishi, played by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, The Twilight Samurai), would have to depend on the special skills only Kai, played by Keanu Reeves (Speed, The Matrix franchise), could offer in the group’s quest to clear the name of their former master. From what I understood the historic legend was about 47 samurai who were known as ronins, which means without a master. So with this archival reference I thought the studio would have gone the extra distance to make a vivid action movie worthy of the story. Unfortunately that was not the case with this dull plodding film. Keanu did himself no favors, acting more like a supporting character; with his standard short, staccato quiet way of speaking. It is something everyone has seen before and all it achieved here was to dim my senses. The script was pretty much a total mess; I did not feel hardly any emotions throughout the scenes. At least there were a few good battle scenes; however, with the fantasy element being part of this story, I felt there was not enough of it in the film to make it noteworthy. Adding in the marketing of this movie, it looked like the studio spent a lot of money to make this picture. Sadly, the only story that will be told about this fiasco will be how the movie studio took a hit on their earnings for ruining a legendary tale. Several scenes had Japanese with English subtitles.
1 2/3 stars