In late medieval Japan, Kai (Keanu Reeves) is a half-Japanese, half-English outcast who lives in the Ako domain, which is ruled by the benevolent Lord Asano Naganori. Asano found a young Kai lost in the forest and accepted him into his household. Despite being scorned by the samurai due to his lowborn status and mixed ancestry, Kai and Asano’s daughter, Mika (Kou Shibasaki), fall in love. Before a visit from Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Lord Asano is visited by the Shogun’s master of ceremonies, Lord Kira. Kira wants the Ako domain for himself, and recently Witch send a monster to Ako to (unsuccessfully) kill Asano. Kai sees a white fox, with different coloured eyes, watching from the underbrush when the monster is killed. During the Shogun’s visit, Kai sees that one of the visiting concubines has the same two-coloured eyes, but he is dismissed when trying to warn Asano’s principal counselor and samurai, Oishi, that she is a witch. Kira arranges a duel for the entertainment of the Shogun between his best warrior, the giant Lovecraftian Samurai, and one chosen by Asano. When Witch’s witchcraft incapacitates Asano’s combatant, Kai secretly dons his armor and fights, but his disguise is revealed and the Shogun orders him severely beaten as punishment. Later that night, Witch bewitches Asano into believing Kira is raping Mika, causing Asano to attack an unarmed Kira in delirium. Attacking a Shogunate official is an executable offence, though the Shogun allows Asano to die with honor through seppuku. The Shogun then gives the Ako domain and Mika to Lord Kira, and brands Oishi and his men ronin. The Shogun grants Mika one year to mourn the death of her father before her marriage to Kira, and forbids the ronin of Ako from seeking vengeance. To ensure there is no interference, Kira imprisons Oishi in an outdoor pit to break his spirit. Nearly a year later Oishi is released by Kira’s men. He reunites with his family and asks his son Chikara to aid him in reuniting the ronin, knowing now that Kira is guilty of treachery for using Witch’s sorcery to cause Asano’s downfall. Learning that Kai has been sold into slavery, Oishi finds him in the fighting pits of the Dutch colony of Dejima. Oishi and Kai gather the other ronins and sets out for revenge against the Shogun’s order…

“47 Ronin” depicts a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of ronin (masterless samurai) in 18th-century Japan who avenged the death of their lord (stories, plays and other dramatic performances of the 47 Ronin story are commonly referred to as Ch?shingura in Japan). Due to studio interference, the film saw several script changes during filming, and a radical re-edit during post-production. Director Carl Rinsch was rumored to have been kicked out of the editing room during post production. And the film was not screened in advance for critics. All of this means in a most cases that the movie is a box office bomb. And trust me “47 Ronin” is no exception. On Rotten Tomatoes the comments about the movie is: “47 Ronin is a surprisingly dull fantasy adventure, one that leaves its talented international cast stranded within one dimensional roles.”Kirsten Acuña of Business Insider believes that the film flopped for three reasons. First, it opened in December when there is over-saturation of films for the Christmas holiday. Second, the film was “too long in the vault” undergoing editing and lost momentum. Third, audiences have not been drawn to Keanu Reeves since the last Matrix film more than 10 years ago. “47 Ronin” suffers first of all from general mistake number one, everybody speaks english (and apparently they did shoot a japanese version, but used the english one) and in this sort of historic and dramatic movie everything simply dies as the movie lose its power without the original language. It also suffers from Keanu Reeves, still the most wooden actor in Hollywood, poor animations at times, silly dialogue, silly acting, silly dramatic structure and a general b-movie feeling. Despite the historic true and intriguing plot line, this just ends up like a pile of visual garbage. Which is a a shame on a good original story. (2 out of 5)

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