The good thing about NowTV is that I can catch up to movies I missed whenever I want. The bad thing is being disappointed in my own home with nowhere to walk/drive to vent off the poor experience. Spoilers ahead.
47 Ronin looked like a pretty decent movie from the trailers and posters I’ve seen. The story was painfully slow and took forever to get to the absolutely disappointing finale. 47 Ronin is a very bad movie which focuses on aesthetics rather than the story… and the other 45 Ronin… and a worthy bad guy.
Out of the 47 Ronin, I think we only have information on about 6 of them – 2 of which are Keanu and the other lead Japanese guy from the Last Samurai. We don’t know much about the others. Only that they served under the same lord and are all perfectly fine and healthy after a year of exile. Whilst we’re on characters, it was disappointingly lacking in the bad guys department. In the poster, we are lead to believe there are three antagonists. But in the movie, two of the three get 5 minutes of screen time in between them! Even the evil lord behind everything who is missing from the poster gets more screen time. The coolest character design has to be the ink guy (the one with tattoos all over his body), yet he only has one line in the entire movie (and yelling if you count that as well) and appears in 2 scenes. He doesn’t even face the protagonist directly! The black armour samurai is a giant in the movie. He has a brief fight with Keanu early on in the movie to show how strong he is. But in the final minutes of the movie he dies in seconds without really fighting anyone! What?! At least have 7 guys struggling to fight him then finish him off with a trap. The big finale wasn’t a fireworks show but a small sparkler that burns for five seconds – it just doesn’t deliver.
The story feels rushed and under developed leaving many questions unanswered. Like why was the Japanese guy freed from the pit? He was kept there because the bad guy doesn’t trust him not to take revenge. Nobody really knew he was kept there right? So he wasn’t obligated to free him in the first place. Also, how convenient is it that he was freed close to when the bad guy can achieve total domination in Japan? When Keanu went to the Tengu forest to get more swords, the master there spoke of some powers that Keanu had learned from him which Keanu indicates are deadly powers: abilities that are designed only for killing. Yet the only thing we see him do is… fly/warp a short distance from A to B. Nothing else. Why is that a deadly skill? The mysterious swords they retrieve wield mystical powers and it depends on who is wielding it. But we’re not really told what they are. Sure we see Keanu slice a trunk with ease and later on when someone else attempts it, they fail. Does that mean these are nothing more than a normal sword for most of these guys?
All in all 47 Ronin was a bad movie, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to watch it.