While hunting in the forest, Lord Asano of Ako and his samurai find a young half-breed and take him with them to live in the castle. Several years later, Lord Asano holds a tournament to welcome the Shogun to Ako. The night after the tournament, Lord Asano is bewitched into hurting Lord Kira of Nagato, and is punished into committing seppuku by the Shogun. Realizing that it was a Lord Kira’s evil plot, the samurais and the half-breed sets out for revenge against the Shogun’s order.
I had some expectations on this movie. Samurai’s, fantasy, magic etc… Sounds good to me alright. Well, as it turned out after having watched it I feel that my expectations was not entirely fulfilled. It is a decent enough movie. Certainly enjoyable to watch. But it is, in my opinion, not a great move and I cannot give it more than an average okay rating.
I have not read the original story which the movie is, supposedly, based nor seen any of the other 47 Ronin movies that have been made. Thus I did not really know what the story was except what was the public storyline nor do I know if the movie actually follows the original story in any great detail. The basic story in the movie is a good one though. Classic, simple and perhaps not very original but a good concept for making a good adventure movie.
The movie is entertaining…to an extent. There are plenty of nice scenes, action, special effects that all make the movie worthwhile to watch. The Japanese, samurai, setting is one that is not used very often in major movies except of course for a bunch of fairly ludicrous martial arts movies which cater for a rather limited audience and generally on a very low-budget.
However, I never really felt much attachment to any of the characters. Even the half-breed, which are supposed to be the hero, never seemed to lift above the ordinary. The bad guy could have been any two-bit crook in a TV-show. The witch was a bit better but still rather meh. The Shogun at least provoked a bit of emotions but not in a good way. What an asshole! Not a shred of investigation when Lord Asano was bewitched. Just “go kill yourself”. Then after the 47 Ronins had actually proven his innocence as well as proven themselves to be the most loyal and capable warriors around the dumb fuck wants them killed because they disobeyed his orders which where total nonsense from the start. As a matter of fact, the ending dragged down the movie quite a lot for me.
Still a movie worth watching but it could have been a lot better.