47 RONIN - What Are The Critics Saying?

47 RONIN - What Are The Critics Saying?

Nothing good! If you were thinking about spending your Christmas Day in the theatre with 47 Ronin, you may want to consider giving The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug another viewing as the critics have so far not been kind to the action movie starring Keanu Reeves. Check it out!

A small degree of pleasure can be extracted from the movie when Kai inexplicably undergoes a personality transplant midway through and turns into a dominant swashbuckler, having previously been a thoroughly submissive figure who evoked the passive receptionist Carol from sitcom The Brittas Empire. There's also an incomprehensible shift in terms of which character's perspective we witness the story unfold from, with samurai leader Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) being given the reins once Kai disappears for a large chunk of the narrative. The central theme of 47 Ronin is one of sacrifice. After sitting through this disaster, you'll feel as if you've sacrificed plenty but without any reward.

SOURCE: Digital Spy

It all begins to seem like an Asian meditation on Super Mario, as Kai and company must ascend various levels (fire, dragon, bad theater) to rescue the princess. But there’s little sense of urgency, or — oddly, given the film’s title — of scale. You never really think that the 47 are truly outnumbered, and the large action scenes are often just incomprehensible. Which is too bad, because it’s fleetingly good (for some of us, anyway) to see Reeves again. An actor who’s been spending much of his time in the fringes of indie cinema lately, he seems almost like an afterthought in this big-budget movie banking on his name.

SOURCE: New York Post

There’s a sober pace to this sometimes picturesque film: The dutifully arranged action building blocks and the meager story filler are ploddingly punctuated by landscape shots. But “47 Ronin” can’t entirely paper over the void at its center, traceable partly to the shadowboxing of computer-aided filmmaking or studio tinkering. (Reshoots reportedly occurred, with changes including the placement of Mr. Reeves’s character at the center of a climactic battle with a dragon.) Taken as a blithe exercise in fantasy with historical trappings, the skewed results feel more inevitable than disappointing. “47 Ronin” falls in with a long line of exotic entertainments that have periodically seized American screens since the age of serials, in which the maneuverings of adaptation almost feel like part of the drama.

SOURCE: New York Times

And like many B-movies, it exists in a vacuum of humour or self-awareness. A cackling witch, played by Pacific Rim’s Rinko Kikuchi, seems plucked straight from a Blackpool pantomime. With a reported budget just south of $200m, it’s flush with production values. There’s pomp and pageantry in every frame, but the emphasis on historical accuracy in costume and set design sits a little queasily alongside the witches, demons and dragons. Ultimately, this vision of feudal Japan seems to fall somewhere between a graphic novel and computer game. But even comics and games are less witless and tedious than this. If they’d spent a little more time on the script and less on the dojo colour scheme...

SOURCE: Sky Movies

The eagerness of the major studios to cozy up to Asian markets yields awkward results in 47 Ronin, a lumpy 3D epic from Universal that fuses Japanese historical legend with generic CGI-heavy action fantasy. While the reported $175 million budget is evident in the handsome production values of Carl Rinsch's ambitious first feature, it falls short on character definition, emotional involvement, narrative drive and originality, with a protagonist played by Keanu Reeves who often gets bumped to the sidelines. Following its soft start in Japan, the English-language film may prove too Hollywood for Eastern audiences and too Asian to crack the American commercial mainstream.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

The dialogue's so cliched it sounds like it's been translated from another language (“I would rather have been killed by that beast than rescued by a half-breed!” intones one of the ronin). The strange pacing speaks of reshoots, inserts and trouble behind the scenes. Meanwhile, Reeves' particularly brand of sleepy handsomeness isn't enough to fill the gaps, and he barely has anything to do, so we're left with a bunch of Japan's finest actors speaking broken English like they're reading from cue cards. It couldn't be more stilted if the cast were actually on stilts. Which, given the circumstances, wouldn't seem that weird. "I will search for you through 1,000 worlds and 10,000 lifetimes!" Reeves promises his beloved. Anyone who sits all the way through this glossy folly will know exactly how that feels.

SOURCE: Total Film

It's hard to care about any of the other playershowever, since the movie is intent on showcasing Kai, who we learn has special powers. Though Reeves' moves are strikingly lithe — showing no evidence of his 49 years — he comes across as stilted and bland in a role in which he's meant to be a tortured hero. While the painted backdrops and locations are stunning, the whole thing seems more like a video game instead of a grand epic. The film opens with the premise: "To know the story of the 47 Ronin is to know the story of Japan. " Alas, this plodding reimagining does not come close to fulfilling its promise.


In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country’s national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. But despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed “47 Ronin” takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to American actor Keanu Reeves’ involvement: “bogus.” So far, Japanese audiences have been slow to embrace a CG-heavy version of the story that offers Keanu as a previously unsung “half-breed” accomplice. Meanwhile, domestic crowds are being deliberately misled to think he’s the star — a high-stakes bait-and-switch sure to backfire on this narratively stiff but compositionally dazzling production when it opens Dec. 25 in the U.S.

SOURCE: Variety
Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "47 Ronin" 12/24/2013
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MrCBM56 - 12/24/2013, 3:21 PM
Wasn't all that interested.
EpitomeofAwesome - 12/24/2013, 3:22 PM
Didn't want to see it, anyway
ALegendaryPanda - 12/24/2013, 3:28 PM
Yeah I kinda expected this...
ArtisticErotic - 12/24/2013, 3:30 PM
Keanu Reeves is a very bland actor overall but I will admit he shows promise in the directing field much like Ben Affleck he'll probably be a better director than actor.

Man Of Tai Chi was awesome.

But yeah 47 Ronin was doomed to fail when they decided to hollywood the story.

Get Keishi Ōtomo to direct a true 47 Ronin movie he killed on the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie.

Brainiac13 - 12/24/2013, 3:31 PM
Another flop. They should've got Ang Lee to do this movie.
Bl00dwerK - 12/24/2013, 3:32 PM
I'm renting it anyway...
Jollem - 12/24/2013, 3:36 PM
devil's advocate
point break
johnny mnemonic

i'm not even gonna list 'em all. big keanu fan

as for critics...as always, they usually suck and are pretentious and don't know what they are talking about

but i love 'em for it
jondoe297 - 12/24/2013, 3:38 PM
I normally read reviews by the regular movie goers not some tight Ase critic cuz for the most part they nit pick on the stupidest whit so all these reviews don't mean nothing I read reviews made by everyday people on this movie and all I kept seeing was good things its going to be one of those movies where critics bate and fans love
113 - 12/24/2013, 3:40 PM
It always seemed like a VoD rental/Netflix watch a few months/years from now.
GAThrawnIGF - 12/24/2013, 3:43 PM
@jondoe297: Considering that to be a fan, you'd have to enjoy it to begin with, I'd EXPECT the fans to love it. What you mean is critics hate and general public love. But you can count this moviegoer out. I didn't have to see reviews to know it'd be crap, and it wasn't just Keanu Reeves' acting "skill" that clued me in.
patrat18 - 12/24/2013, 3:45 PM
JamesMan - 12/24/2013, 3:51 PM
I find it odd that critics will knock CGI being used in some films but not even mention it in other CG heavy films. CGI is the special effects of today so to launch a complaint about it being used at all is stupid at this point. Complaints on quality is understandable but if you're saying a movie is suddenly below you because it uses CG instead of practical effects, your critical opinion is not worth my time.
Ceejay - 12/24/2013, 3:55 PM
Can't tell you the last time I gave a shit about what critics think of a movie.

They said Titanic was going to flop.

They said The Empire Strikes Back was not as good as the original Star Wars movie.

They said John Carter was terrible!

They gave a thumbs up to Star Trek into Darkness, a sci fi movie that tried to convince us that COLD FUSION can be used to freeze volcanos!?

Frak the critics, I'm going to see the movie because it looks like fun to me and I love sword fights.
driver - 12/24/2013, 3:55 PM
It will flop hard, very hard. But I am watching it anyways.
Gibman - 12/24/2013, 3:56 PM
Really, I'm shocked. It looked amazing... Well it looked decent...
Ok it looked liked crap. But I so wanted it to be good
marvel72 - 12/24/2013, 4:03 PM
merry christmas to all at comic book movie.
NovaCorpsFan - 12/24/2013, 4:04 PM
Never planned on seeing this, at least now I have a reason not to.
ironspider12 - 12/24/2013, 4:08 PM
it looked cool
TheStranger - 12/24/2013, 4:13 PM
I'll still go see it. Just because critics say it's bad doesn't mean I can't appreciate it.
mk - 12/24/2013, 4:14 PM
dont care will be watching anyway
SageMode - 12/24/2013, 4:17 PM
Point Break, Speed, and 1st Matrix film.

Other than that.....meh.
DrDoom - 12/24/2013, 4:24 PM
I'm still going to see it.... it looks like fun
sameoldthing - 12/24/2013, 4:24 PM
If you listen to critics..you are a mindless drone.
Decide for yourself.

There should not even be critics,why is that a job/occupation?
Use your own free will.
Humperdink - 12/24/2013, 4:31 PM

ds9epicfan - 12/24/2013, 4:54 PM
Funny thing about critics is sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong!I remember staying away from Dread(Karl Urban version) when it came out in theaters because of bad reviews but took a chance and bought it on Blu-ray and was blown away by it and thinking the critics who hated it were probably smoking some bad wacky tabacky or are just plain retards!In the end,it's up to us to decide if we like a movie or not and not some stranger who has nothing in common with you!As for 47 Ronin,looks good but I'll wait for the Blu-ray!Oh,and there are some exceptions with bad reviews that influence me...or maybe it's just a vibe...but I will never see,rent or buy...After Earth!
BlackIceJoe - 12/24/2013, 5:15 PM
I will rent the movie when it comes to my local library. I have been wanting to see what Carl Rinsch would do if he could ever make a big screen movie. I have enjoyed his short films and was wanting this to do well so he could have a shot at doing a DC or Marvel film. Because if you look at what he has put out he would be able to make a great comic book movie.
TheRationalNerd - 12/24/2013, 5:15 PM
Man, go see the film for yourselves people if you still want to. Let's think about films like "Man of Steel" "The Wolverine", "Kick-Ass 2" for example. You can't go by everything these critics say these days. Have a mind of your own and see the film because YOU want to. F**k the critics!
Ranger14 - 12/24/2013, 5:18 PM
^^^ make that 10% now

Still going to see it though
TheRationalNerd - 12/24/2013, 5:18 PM

Lol!! xD It kills me, like people who rely on critics opinions are such mindless drones. Rate a movie and see a movie for your own perceptual based pleasure! Everyone will have opinions. Negative news sells because everyone latches to it faster. I bet there's good reviews for this film out there.
TheRationalNerd - 12/24/2013, 5:20 PM

Oh I'm sure we all know Madea wants you all to himself. :) Let's not push our luck you old geezer!
SecretAvenger001 - 12/24/2013, 5:22 PM
That's sad because the commercials actually make it look pretty cool...don't they all!! Keanu has had his fair share of hits and misses just like every other actor. Still gonna give it a chance and watch it. Perhaps the Dollar Movies just to play it safe!
ds9epicfan - 12/24/2013, 5:32 PM
Yep!You got it,critics aren't important,only our individual opinions!
Have another drink on me and I'm about to hit the bottle myself! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!
GeekyCheekyChic - 12/24/2013, 5:35 PM
Not one trailer made it look like a watchable movie. Thus no surprise that it sucks.
Our movie marathon tomorrow is Wolf of Wall Street , a second viewing of Anchorman 2 and American Hustle possibly seeing "Her" if we aren't tired after the first three.
Merry Christmas all!
CaptainAmerica31 - 12/24/2013, 5:42 PM
As expected, it was gonna fail critically
cipher - 12/24/2013, 5:58 PM
Hahahaha, the old man's already smashed. Have a good one, guys. It's your duty to get as drunk as possible. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a few bottles to open.
NiteSoul69 - 12/24/2013, 6:10 PM
trailer looks good, me and my buddies plan on seeing it
SuperCat - 12/24/2013, 6:33 PM
I still may see this :/
RichardHedski - 12/24/2013, 7:10 PM
Brett Ratner should have directed it.
NBAfanaddict - 12/24/2013, 7:22 PM
@Jollem: Devil's Advocate is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time. That movie is thought-provoking. Love it!
tumpai - 12/24/2013, 7:50 PM
I know Kung Fu
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