47 RONIN (M)
Directed by Carl Erik Rinsch.
It's not often a film is already famous for being a failure before it has opened, but that is the fate that has befallen 47 Ronin.
The studio have all but disowned it, Keanu Reeves has gone back into hiding, and even in Japan, where the story of the titular samurai is a part of the national psyche, the film hasn't set the box office afire.
And I wanted to like it, I really did. I'm a fan of the underdog and the misunderstood. I enjoyed Battleship, and Speed Racer, and I even had some kind words for Stealth, but 47 Ronin really is a mess.
First time feature director Carl Rinsch seems kind of defeated by the length of the film, and spends far too long with Keanu and his fellow warriors sitting around discussing their quest, when all we in the cheap seats want to see is a healthy dose of action.
There are spectacular set pieces, and some of the costuming, stunt work, and CGI is truly wondrous. But for every jaw-dropping moment, their is an arse-numbing wait for the next to arrive.
With an Alexander style re-cut, 47 Ronin is salvageable. But for now, this film is dead on arrival.
- © Fairfax NZ News