December 26, 2013 12:03 pm

47 Ronin – film review

Keanu Reeves stars as a soldier of fortune in this overcooked Christmas turkey

47 Ronin, a Hollywood-Japanese action adventure, should be impaled with holly and crowned with a funny hat. It’s the turkey, or possibly the warmed-over pudding, of this year’s Christmas season. Long in the waiting, costly in the making, it stars Keanu Reeves (in his expressionless style) as a soldier of fortune adopted by a group of revolting Ronin. “Ronin” were leaderless samurai, here rebelling against a treacherous warlord. Kenji Mizoguchi’s original movie (1941), based on true events in early 18th-century Japan, is a classic. This one is a dud that can barely walk. But like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail it keeps fighting, bragging and gesticulating – or trying – even as the limbs and body parts fall to the ground.

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Nigel Andrews


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