13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku), 2010.
Directed by Takashi Miike.
Feudal Japan is in a time of peace, but the sadistic Lord Naritsugu is next in line for the Shogun’s rule. 12 samurai, and one scavenger, are under orders to assassinate Naritsugu to avoid such a political catastrophe.
You know what’s missing from cinema these days? Really good villains. I don’t mean, like, a ‘good’ villain as in a bad-guy who sees the errors of his ways (confusing word order: noted); I mean some detestable sonofabitch that you can’t wait to get their comeuppance. Films that are blessed with such antagonists can build their whole plot around their eventual, humiliating (hopefully bloody) demise. 13 Assassins does so masterfully.
There’s a cheap trick in storytelling called ‘kicking the puppy’. It’s where you have your bad guy commit a bad deed »
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