Thursday, 27 March 2014

Blu-ray Review - 47 Ronin

47 Ronin
Director: Carl Rinsch
Starring: Keanu Reeves
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Retail: $34.98
Running Time: 119 minutes
Rating: PG-13


Arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack on April 1st is the fantasy-action film, 47 Ronin, directed by Carl Rinsch and stars Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Trilogy). Bonus features include delete scene and Re-forging the Legend. Blu-ray exclusives include Keanu & Kai, Steel Fury: The Fights of 47 Ronin and Myths, Magic & Monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin.

47 Ronin is loosely based on actually events that occurred during the 18th century, but this version has been Hollywoodized by adding a fantasy element, as well as CGI special effects to it. The film was filmed in 2011 with a release date scheduled for November 2012, but due to production delays and re-shoots, the film was rescheduled to February 2013, but was quickly shoved to a Christmas Day 2013 release. The film received negative reviews from critics. With a budget of a reported $175 million, the film bombed at the box-office.

Keanu Reeves plays a half-Japanese, half-British warrior named Ako, who is rejected by the samurais, but accepted by Lord Asano Naganori. After being put under a spell, Lord Naganori attacks a young woman, with the punishment for the crime is death. The Shogun allows him to die honorably by committing seppuku (suicide).

The Ronin samurais, led by Oishi (played by Hiroyuki Sanada), are disbanded. Oishi is imprisoned for a year, but when he is released, he gathers up the remaking Ronin, along with Ako (who is was put into slavery). The 47 Ronin plan on avenging Lord Naganori's death.

Visually, 47 Ronin looks epic, but the film suffers from several boring moments. Though Keanu Reeves is billed as the main character, the lead is actually given to Hiroyuki Sanada, who gives a great performance. Yes, Keanu Reeves' character is given a forced love story, but he doesn't have much to do in the movie. The entire film is pushing for a climatic sword fighting scene, but the ending fight is rushed. 47 Ronin has plenty of flaws, but it isn't as bad as mainstream critics made it out to be. If you can push past the slow moving scenes, you might be able to enjoy the fantasy aspects of it. Overall, 47 Ronin might have had a big-budget, but it feels more like a made-for-Syfy movie.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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