47 Ronin (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Not half bad.

There are two types of people in this world – those that like Keanu Reeves, and those that despise him. I’ve met my fair share of Keanu-haters out there, and I just don’t get it. Sure, the man isn’t the best actor in the world, but he is very well known for a reason. I have mad respect for the actor, especially when he stars in an action flick. Action is clearly his forte, and I don’t care what you have to say about him, I think he always fits right in with action films. But here’s my dilemma folks, 47 Ronin isn’t exactly a movie madly raved about by cinema lovers, then again either was the sequels to The Matrix, which I also love. So I had mixed emotions when it came to seeing this film. So I got around to it, clenched my teeth, and sat down to watch 47 Ronin, and good god it totally doesn’t deserve the hateful reviews. It’s not the best movie in the world, but it does have a lot of great qualities to it as well.

Keanu Reeves stars in this film as Kai, a half-breed which is raised in Japanese culture, and feared and loathed for his foreign ancestry. Meanwhile, his and a group of other samurai warrior’s master is bewitched and sentenced to death. Basically, Kai and a group of 46 other warriors (47 Ronin) vow to unleash vengeance on the witch that unjustly killed their master, despite the direct orders of the land’s leader. In other words, another tale of Japanese vengeance, bravery, patience and acceptance.

I want to first start off saying that this film is based off of a Japanese legend, or story, or something that I am unfamiliar with. A lot of the harsh treatment given to this film is spawned from people upset that it never gave the original legend the correct respect. As always, I am obligated to bring up the fact that movies don’t have an obligation to follow something to the T. It’s called creative freedom. Let them do what they want. Yeah it’s not exactly 100% accurate, but who cares, it’s a movie, it’s made to entertain, not educate. For that, look up Wikipedia or find a documentary. Don’t give a movie crap because of the facts. Anyways, I don’t know the legend, at all, and I am overall happier with the movie as a standalone project.

Let’s look at the facts of the movie in terms of entertainment. 1.) It’s a beautifully shot movie. Honestly, it is. The CGI is actually impressive when it is used, the scenery is immaculate, and the use of lighting is pretty much perfect in every way. 2.) Keanu Reeves isn’t the best actor in the world, but if we’re judging this based off action, the boy can play his role well. 3.) The characters never speak Japanese. This could be a problem to some, thinking it unrealistic, but just think of it as if it were a translation or dubbed version of the movie. The characters aren’t really speaking English, that’s just how we hear it. 4.) I never had a problem with the editing either. Pretty much everything put together…was very strong. You understand it the whole time, it has an interesting premise, it looks really nice…I really don’t know what the problem is unless you’re talking about the actual legend, which I couldn’t give two craps about.

The reason why I didn’t rate this higher was that in general, the movie is just…interesting. It can keep your attention pretty well, but after it’s done, there is no overwhelming feeling of wanting to see it again or even buy it. It’s a nice rental, so if it shows up on Netflix Instant, I’d go ahead and suggest to watch it there, or whatnot, but other than that…I don’t know.

The Good:

47 Ronin is hardly worth the bad things people say about it. It’s got a decent plot, it looks really nice, and the action is a lot of fun sometimes, for the most part I didn’t understand the problem.

The Bad:

Some people would say Keanu Reeves, while others would say a blatant disregard to the real Japanese legend that this film is based on. I say so what to both of those, I like Keanu, and I also say this isn’t a documentary, it’s a movie made to entertain, not educate. What I will say is by the time you finish the movie, you don’t have an overwhelming feeling to see the movie again. That doesn’t mean it’s a terrible movie, though.

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