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This action blockbuster, set in feudal Japan, stars Keanu Reeves as Kai, an outcast foundling who finds himself fronting a small band of masterless samurai, called ronin, in a bid both to avenge their dead lord, and to free Kai's love from a forced marriage to the lord's evil usurper. Blending Japanese myth with Hollywood-style CGI beasties and shape-shifting witches,
both benefits and suffers from its splendid Japanese support cast, who look great, but are obliged to speak in English. Subtitling might have been better. Things flag somewhat around the action, and the film lacks that sense of going up against overwhelming odds that, say,
The Seven Samurai
had. But it's handsomely staged, quite moving in its final moments, and all told a decent alternative to everyday Hollywood action.
A band of samurai is betrayed by a ruthless warlord who murders the warriors' master and banishes them from their homeland. They receive fresh hope in the shape of a mysterious former slave, who leads them into battle against monstrous and magical enemies as they seek to reclaim their former status. Fantasy adventure, starring Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada.
Cast & Crew
Yorick van Wageningen
DVD and Blu-ray
27 Dec 2013
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