Sunday, 15 May 2011

13 Assassins

You want a sword fight scene? You got a sword fight scene! One that lasts half the movie at that!

The set up is that Lord Naritsugu is completely off his rocker, but being a big powerful figure is "eccentric" rather than "bat screamingly insane". However, he murders one peasant too many (or rather, one peasant village too many), so the local Shogun official decides that matters must be taken care of! Although... on the down low, of course. And so, he recruits the... one assassin! (Given that they are samurai, is the Japanese title '13 Assassins' or '13 Samurai'?) And that one assassin recruits... some others! Number 13 turns up later, and indeed might not be all that he appears to be... certainly no samurai, so 'assassin' is safer in that it encapsulates his role as well. Anyway, the assassins head off Lord Wacky at the pass, and then it's swords and body parts a flying! Nameless samurai die (okay, not nameless, but certainly not exactly fleshed out fully developed characters either), but so do nameless other samurai, so that's all right. In the end, it was a game of two halves, and what mattered was everyone participating.

This seems to be the first film of Takashi Miike I've seen, but I'm certainly aware of his reputation. This isn't a movie that goes lightly. There are a few light moments, but there are more than enough moments of darkness (that woman in the beginning, for example) to make this movie grim and gritty. Not in an emo way, and you are certainly rooting for the assassins, but you are more likely to nod in grim determination at the end than whoop and cheer.

A solid and decent movie, although not for everyone...



krissthesexyatheist said...

Sounds epic. Takashi Mike is epic (if I can say epic twice). I saw the preview on YT and guess what, it was epic. hope to see it soon. Thanks yo.


Jamas Enright said...

I realised afterward that I have seen his series MPD Psycho. Very strange, that was... (although it was faithful to the source, I gather).