Winter's officially over (At least in Johannesburg, we apologise if your city is still cold!) so we can't use the "cuddle buddy" excuse as a reason to rent out or buy DVDs. We know some of you have big summer plans and are ready to ditch the house every weekend, but for the rest of us with boring social lives the DVD store doesn't look like a bad idea right now. We have the perfect film for you to sink your movie-watching-teeth into- Keanu Reeves' 47 Ronin.
What’s the story about?
47 Ronin is a story based on the true life events of the 18th Century Ronins (entry level samurais). The Ronins find themselves battling to avenge their Lord’s death after he is wrongfully beheaded. Amongst the group of Ronins is a half-breed outcast known as Kai, who finds himself being constantly ridiculed by his peers. However, Kai is the only Ronin who is powerful enough to help the others succeed in avenging their Lord’s death. Though not easily welcomed and respected by the rest of the warrior’s Kai proves himself worthy and does his best to lead his fellow soldiers.
Who’s in it?
Keanu Reeves plays the role of Kai while acting alongside Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays the character of Oishi, leader of the Ronins. You will have probably also seen Hiroyuki in the new American science fiction TV series Extant.
Who’s the director?
The movie was directed by cast members Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada alongside Carl Rinsch who is more of a television commercial director but makes his movie directorial debut on 47 Ronin.
What will you remember?
The content of this movie consists of a variety of witchcraft and demon scenes. The most memorable scene is when Kai returns back to Tengu Forest, a place he fled as a teenager in the hopes of receiving samurai swords from the demons of the forest. Many have tried to claim these swords but have never succeeded. In an unexpected twist of events, Kai shows off his own magical powers (which we were not aware he had!) and defeats the demons.
What’s the best line?
Whilst in the Tengu Forest, one of the demon leaders tries to instil doubt in Kai’s love for Mika daughter of Lord Asano.
Demon: “No matter what you do, Mika will never be yours in this life.”
Kai: “Then I will go to my death and pray that I find her in the next.”
What others had to say?
“47 Ronin looks from the outset like a picture that went off without a hitch.” -Scott Mendelson, Forbes
“Unusually grim (for the multiplex) and ritualistic, with nice supernatural flourishes and an outcome that will surprise those unfamiliar with the original story.” – John Beifuss