47 Ronin – Review

The bare bones of the true story are all there: the kindly Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) is ordered to commit seppuku ritual suicide by disembowelment when he almost mortally offends Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano a nicely ironic name if ever there was one). This renders all the honourable samurai in Asano`s service masterless i.e., ronin. Led by the noble Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the loyal band of 47 ronin vow to avenge Asano, even though they have been ordered by their Shogun (top military commander) not to do so.

What`s less accurate, of course, is pretty much all the rest of it. Reeves plays Kai, a half-British, half-Japanese orphan who`s taken in by Asano but treated like an outcast by everyone in the household except, of course, for Asano`s loving daughter Mika (Kou Shibasaki). Kira`s nefarious plans have the support of Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), a witch who can apparently take any form she likes: wolf, snake or dragon. It`s all a bit nonsensical, especially when Kai tries to get swords for the ronin from some pretty creepy folk who have gone from society`s outcasts to being part of what looks like a supernatural cult.

In other words, 47 Ronin is a faintly ridiculous addition to the wealth of ChÅ