Review: 47 Ronin

JAMES CROOT
Last updated 05:00 19/01/2014
47 Ronin

GROANING IN THE RONIN: Keanu Reeves looks as unhappy as audiences will be watching 47 Ronin.

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REVIEW: First things first, this Hollywood recreation of one of Japan's greatest stories is, despite reports and the financial bath it's taken, not the worst movie ever made.

The 2013 comedies Movie 43 and Scary Movie 5 make this look like Seven Samurai in comparison.

However, like fellow action mish-mash-ups Van Helsing, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, murky visuals, an incoherent storyline and shoddy editing (this one has been in post-production since 2011) combine for less than satisfactory results.

Part Wolverine, part The Last Samurai, part Ran, part Curse of the Golden Flower, with a smattering of The Last of the Mohicans, rookie director Carl Rinsch's "world of witches and giants" enhanced historical tale should be an exciting thrill-ride.

Instead it becomes bogged down by hard-to-follow feudal politics, endless swordplay that feels like one Tekken battle after another, and portentous and pretentious dialogue ("I will search for you through 1000 worlds and 10,000 lifetimes!").

Of course, it doesn't help that such lines are delivered by Hollywood's most famous walking 4x2 Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) whose character here is too elusive and ethereal for us to care about. Plus, he looks as depressed and bored as you will be watching this.

Throw in Ilan Eshkeri's (Kick Ass) overly bombastic score and you'll find the only thing this wannabe Macbeth has in common with Shakespeare's play is that it's "full of sound and fury signifying nothing".

Heavy on CGI, light on entertainment, 47 Ronin is a dreary and deathly dull tale that you will endure rather than enjoy.

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- Sunday Star Times

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