Thursday 26 December 2013

"47 Ronin" (The Guardian 26/12/13)

47 Ronin (12A) 119 mins **

Hollywood’s latest play for the growing Asian market revisits the ancient Japanese legend of self-sacrifice, hoping to offset its garbled narrative and grinding humourlessness with 3D and Keanu Reeves as a samurai Jesus. The VFX team have some fun with Rinko Kikuchi’s shapeshifting witch, but otherwise this is a terrible plod, hamstrung by rookie director Carl Rinsch’s inability to clearly describe four ronin, let alone 47. The kind of globalised blandout initiated by suits who understand algorithms and spreadsheets rather better than they do specific cultures: for all the authentic Eastern flavour it imparts, Rinsch’s film might have been shot around the Goole branch of Yo! Sushi.

47 Ronin opens in cinemas nationwide today.

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