10. 47 Ronin
The tale of the 47 Ronin is the stuff of legends in Japan, so naturally Universal Studios thought it’s epic scope would make for one heck of an adventure picture. In this blockbuster adaptation Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a half-Japanese, half English, outsider in the service of his Samurai Lord Asano. When Asano is tricked into committing a grave offense and forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) Kai must team up with Asano’s second in command Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) to seek revenge for their fallen Lord. An action packed battle commences at the castle of the villain Lord Kira complete with a fire breathing Dragon at the climax of the film. With their Lord avenged the 47 Ronin can finally regain their lost honor at the hands of Lord Kira.
I’ll come right out and say it, 47 Ronin is no masterpiece. It’s big, goofy and kind of all over the place, but I can’t help but be entertained by it every time I see it. There’s something about this movie that keeps me coming back. The natural charisma of the two leads, Keanuv Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada, keeps the movie afloat even when bogged down by silly plot conveniences and absurdities. If the works of Akira Kurosawa stand as a gourmet meal at a 5 star restaurant then this film is a Chicken Mcnugget, but you gotta admit, sometimes it’s nice to have some Mcnuggets.
- Director Carl Rinsch’s directorial debut
- Seventh overall cinematic adaptation of the 47 Ronin legend
- Originally envisioned as an art-house samurai film before being altered into an action adventure film