A Retrograde Look At 47 Ronin

A look back at a certain action movie starring Keanu Reeves.

The true story of the 47 Ronin has been an icon of loyalty, honour, and sacrifice in Japanese history. The tale has inspired countless stories. In the case of the 2013 film 47 Ronin, it was the premise of the fantasy action film.

This article contains some spoilers…

This film pretty much went under the radar at the time of release and didn’t do very well at the box office. To be honest, it was a generic action movie. Though, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. There’s something about the Samurai theme that appeals to me. It’s the reason why I really hope the Assassin’s Creed series visits Feudal Japan one day and it’s why I pine over Ghost of Tushima.

47 Ronin as a film maybe doesn’t scratch the itch as much as something like The Last Samurai did, but despite being a standard action film, it was fun to watch. Though, as with so many films, the story felt rushed. I tend to have this gripe with movies; it’s clear why I prefer series instead.

I can’t help but wonder whether if 47 Ronin was a series it would have captured a bigger audience as the writers could have put more into it. The film had some really cool elements and lore that they just briefly touched upon for the sake of runtime. I did like how the movie didn’t shy away from the prejudices of the era. I felt sorry for Keanu Reeves’ character who was treated badly due to being mixed between European and Japanese.

There were some interesting creature designs as well but the biggest fault I have with this film is that it dedicated quite a few scenes to building up the abnormally large henchmen and made him out to be scary and a big threat to the 47 Ronin and then, (spoiler alert) they just blow him up. Why was it so easy?

I was expecting a grand Dark Souls kind of boss fight. That left me disappointed as the film seemed to be building up to that for a long time.

Overall, 47 Ronin is a good watch on a lazy Sunday if you have nothing else to do.