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47 Ronin (2013)

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A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

Director:

Carl Rinsch

Writers:

Chris Morgan (screenplay), Hossein Amini (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,663 ( 327)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Kai
Hiroyuki Sanada ... Ôishi
Ko Shibasaki ... Mika (as Kô Shibasaki)
Tadanobu Asano ... Lord Kira
Min Tanaka ... Lord Asano
Jin Akanishi ... Chikara
Masayoshi Haneda ... Yasuno
Hiroshi Sogabe Hiroshi Sogabe ... Hazama
Takato Yonemoto ... Basho
Hiroshi Yamada Hiroshi Yamada ... Hara
Shû Nakajima Shû Nakajima ... Horibe
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Shogun Tsunayoshi
Neil Fingleton ... Lovecraftian Samurai
Rinko Kikuchi ... Witch
Natsuki Kunimoto ... Riku
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Storyline

While hunting in the forest, Lord Asano of Ako and his samurai find a young half-breed and take him with them to live in the castle. Several years later, Lord Asano holds a tournament to welcome the Shogun to Ako. The night after the tournament, Lord Asano is bewitched into hurting Lord Kira of Nagato, and is punished into committing seppuku by the Shogun. Realizing that it was a Lord Kira's evil plot, the samurais and the half-breed sets out for revenge against the Shogun's order. Written by Immanuel A.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This Christmas, seize eternity.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Japan | Hungary

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

47 Ronin See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$175,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,869,000, 27 December 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,362,475

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$151,783,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(International Cut) | (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has almost nothing in common with the original historical epic, being set "in a world of witches and giants." See more »

Goofs

When Mika visits Kai in his hut (after battling the monster), she is shown walking through the rain with a parasol. When she leaves, she uses the hood of her cape to protect her head, and the parasol has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Ancient feudal Japan, a land shrouded in mystery, forbidden to foreigners. A group of magical islands home to witches and demons. A nation of rival provinces whose lords were ruled by a shogun whose will is absolute. Peace in the realm is kept by the samurai, master swordsmen tasked with protecting their lord and their province at all costs. Should a samurai ever lose of fail his master, he suffers the greatest shame in all Japanese society. He becomes a ronin. And yet, to know ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Universal spinning Earth begins normally, but after the camera backs away to show the full globe and logo it then slowly zooms back in with the Earth still spinning to Japan and the movies title is drawn over the Pacific Ocean. Clouds then obscure everything then clear as the view zooms in to Japan and the narration begins. See more »

Connections

Version of The 47 Ronin (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
HK Auteur Review - 47 Ronin
10 January 2014 | by hkauteurSee all my reviews

47 Ronin is a film reimagining of a popular Japanese folktale that is stuck inside its mythic contraptions. Everybody is an archetype, as opposed to a character. Love, hate or brotherhood between characters is assumed rather than shown through character development. The story starts and ends with an unknown narrator, who tells the story as if we were all listening to a old tale by a campfire. The end result is that it places a distance between the story and the audience. It is as if the story itself is matted on a frame, and we are just looking at it in a gallery with a curator recounting the story as opposed to the viewer experiencing the story from a first-person perspective.

Keanu Reeves is not the problem here. There is no room here to critique about woodiness as there wasn't enough for him to do. He is casted here for marketing reasons and it really shows. Reeves' character is sidelined by Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays the leader of the Ronin. Sanada carries the film with his powerful presence; you really do believe he can really hurt someone with a sword. He has long been the go-to guy for American-Japanese co-productions and it's finally nice to see him in a central role. Tadanobu Asano also shows up to chew some scenery as the villain and adds a depth that wasn't on the page. My fingers are still crossed he will play Genghis Khan again in a sequel to Mongul.

Hearing the film opened poorly in Japan is unfortunate. Perhaps it is uncomfortable for the Japanese to see their own folktale retold in a foreign production. I have bulked at my fair share of Hollywood misrepresentations of Chinese culture, and evidently there is a sufficient amount of Orientalism in the film. Though the fantasy elements and the production design are so extreme it plays closer to a graphic novel. The more I think about why the fantasy elements were added, the more it seems like it is there to justify the casting of Keanu Reeves as a half- Caucasian half-Japanese outsider amongst an entire cast of Japanese actors. I can't help but imagine what a more realistic telling of this story would have been like as the Japanese cultural elements and Samurai politics were more interesting than the magic and mythic beasts.

To sum it all up, 47 Ronin is a fantasy graphic novel style adaptation of a Japanese folktale released in December. Perhaps it is not exactly the most festive way to start the new year with all the beheadings and Samurai ritual suicide. The story also takes a long time to get set up, which asks for a lot of patience on the viewer's part. The ideal crowd would have been overseas anime geeks who are fascinated with Japanese pop culture, and perhaps for that, the film may have fared better if it was released in the March-April slot. That all said, even with its flaws and supposed qualifiers, 47 Ronin accomplishes what it sets out to do. It's just not for everybody.


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