|Directed by||Carl Erik Rinsch|
|Produced by||Pamela Abdy
|Screenplay by||Chris Morgan
|Story by||Chris Morgan
|Music by||Ilan Eshkeri|
|Editing by||Craig Wood|
Mid Atlantic Films
Moving Picture Company
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||119 minutes|
47 Ronin is a 2013 American fantasy action film depicting a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of masterless samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenged the murder of their master (stories, plays and other dramatic performances of the 47 Ronin story are commonly referred to as Chūshingura in Japan). Produced by Universal Studios, the film is directed by Carl Erik Rinsch and stars Keanu Reeves. Filming started in Budapest in March 2011; it moved toShepperton Studios in London and was concluded in Japan.
- Keanu Reeves as Kai, a former slave who joins the Rōnin. Reeves’s character is half-Japanese and half-British; the character was created for the film.
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Oishi, the leader of the Rōnin.
- Kou Shibasaki as Mika, Lord Asano’s daughter and Kai’s love interest.
- Tadanobu Asano as Lord Kira, Lord Asano’s rival daimyo and the one responsible for arranging the killing of the Rōnin’s master.
- Min Tanaka as Lord Asano, the former master of the Rōnin.
- Jin Akanishi as Chikara, Oishi’s son.
- Masayoshi Haneda as Yasuno
- Hiroshi Sogabe as Hazama
- Neil Fingleton as Lovecraftian Samurai
- Takato Yonemoto as Basho
- Hiroshi Yamada as Hara
- Shu Nakajima as Horibe
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shogun Tsunayoshi
- Rinko Kikuchi as Mizuki, an odd-eyed witch who serves Lord Kira
- Yorick van Wageningen as Kapitan
- Rick Genest as Savage
The outcast Kai (Reeves), orphaned son of a British sailor and a Japanese peasant woman, joins a group of rōnin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Sanada), who seeks vengeance on Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), a ruthless rival daimyo who, aided by the sorceress Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), engineers the shaming and execution of their master and the banishment of the group by the shōgun. (The historical Kira was a protocol officer of the shōgun, not a daimyo.) The rōnin embark on a journey to get their revenge, overcoming challenges that would defeat most warriors.
So I went into this film having not seen, or paid any attention to the trailers. I have to say it was quality entertainment with very vivid imagery and costumes. Keanu Reeves never uses the accent the rest of the actors do, and he barely has a facial expression throughout the film, but the movie is well written and well portrayed, especially since I learned that the legend of the 47 Ronin is a true legend that is celebrated in Japan every year. I recommend this to Ninja, Samurai, and oriental action film fans, and anyone who likes a good fantasy tale with dragons and beasts. Even though Keanu can’t act, It was still good! 4 stars – MR