Valdosta Daily Times

Features

December 28, 2013

‘47 Ronin’ already had enough

VALDOSTA — “47 Ronin” (Action/Historical: 1 hour, 59 minutes)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki, Jin Akanishi and Tadanobu Asano

Director: Carl Rinsch

Rated: PG-13 (Intense sequences of violence, some disturbing images, and thematic elements)

Movie Review: “47 Ronin” is a longtime Japanese legend that takes place in early 1700s. It is about ronin, masterless samurai, avenging the death of their leader, Lord Asano (Min Tanaka). Asano attacks an unarmed guest in his house, Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), via the trickery of witchcraft by Lord Kira’s witch (Rinko Kikuchi). Dishonored by the action, Asano commits suicide through the ritual act to keep his family from also facing dishonor. Ôishi (Sanada), leader of Asano’s samurai, gathers 47 samurai a year later to enact revenge for their lord’s false dishonor by Lord Kira. Joining the samurai is Kai (Reeves), a Caucasian whom Lord Asano took in as a child.  

This tale’s basis is an old Japanese story of brave warriors who face death to avenge the death of their leader. Their quest is such a righteous one that people travel to their burial site each year on Dec. 14 as a tribute.

The samurais’ bravery is honorable, although this screenplay weakens their story with addition of side stories.

The most notable problem with this film is the inclusion of Kai, as played by Reeves. Like “The Last Samurai” (Director Edward Zwick, 2003) and numerous other fictional tales about other cultures — a Caucasian held as the hero must help an indigenous people succeed.

This upholds the inclusion of European dominance imbedded in literature, television and films for centuries.   

The character of Kai is unneeded to make this film work as a brilliant story. Although Reeves is a likable actor, his inclusion does nothing to make this plot better. Even more, the film adds sorcery, beings that look like extraterrestrials and monsters. Albeit they are intriguing, they are superfluous. They and many special and visual effects are mere distractions, backdrops for an already great tale.  

This is a shame since this is intriguing entertainment. A righteous story is always worth sharing, but movie producers can over do it. This is the case with “47 Ronin.”      

Grade: C+ (Too many extras dishonor an otherwise solid narrative.)

1
Text Only
Features
  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • easter eggs.jpg VLPRA hosts ‘Egg-ceptional Egg Hunt’ Saturday

    Easter egg hunts are an old tradition, but this Saturday, the Therapeutic Division of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority is putting a new spin on it.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results