Title: 47 Ronin
Director: Carl Rinsch
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada.
‘47 Ronin’ is Universal’s fictional account of the forty-seven real-life samurai, that in 18th century Japan avenged the murder of their master. Carl Rinsch’s fantasy action film takes artistic license in portraying the story of the outcast Kai (Reeves), who joins a group of ronin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Sanada), to seek vengeance on Lord Kira (Asano) for killing their master and banishing the group.
Despite some colourful 3D monsters, the flick doesn’t meet the expected wacky chimera. The digital effects are brilliant, just as all the ones the audience has grown accustomed to in the latest fantasy-films. Monsters don’t differ much from some of the grotesque characters seen in ‘The Hobbit.’
A different vibe and a rawer empathy was the one triggered by the 1941 version of black-and-white two-part jidaigeki Japanese film, directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, adapted from a play by Seika Mayama. In that occasion the dramatic performances of the 47 Ronin story, commonly referred to as ‘Chushingura,’ was represented with greater Nipponic spirit. There have been over 80 previous adaptations, of this classic Japanese tale, but Carl Rinsch’s film will be the first time the story has ever been told in English.
So far Keanu Reeves’ action fantasy epic made its debut in Japan and took in $1.3 million from 333 locations, topping ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Red 2,’ at the box office, and given its subject matter and Japanese stars Rinko Kiuchi, Tadanobu Asano and Hiroyuki Sanada, it was seen as having potential to score in Asia. The U.S. release is set on Christmas Day, 2013.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi