47 reasons not to watch this movie


Keanu Reeves as The Halfbreed/Kai
Hiroyuki Sanada as Oishi
Kou Shibasaki as Mika Asano
Tadanobu Asano as Lord Kira
Min Tanaka as Lord Asano
with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shogun Tsunayoshi/Lord Constipation

Despite being based on what must be one of the best historical legends to to come out of Asia, this version of 47 Ronin is terrible. The legend of the 47 ronin is supposed to give the audience an idea of what honour, sacrifice and loyalty means. Unfortunately, the only thing this movie shows is how terrible Americans are at making movies about other cultures. There are literally 47 reasons not to watch this and for this review, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

1. Keanu Reeves only has one facial expression in the whole movie (see picture above).
2. Keanu Reeves has forgotten kungfu.
3. The first half hour of the movie is terribly edited by jumping from place to place to introduce characters with little or no context.
4. All the other characters have ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION in the entire movie as well (see picture above).
5. Keanu Reeves is special (again), but he’s not The One. He’s just a dirty half-breed according to all the Japanese. Also, his name is Kai.
6. Despite being accepted into the domain of Lord Asano, everyone shuns Kai despite them not knowing anything about him or questioning his origins.
7. Mythical beast attack that an entire party of highly skilled samurai cannot defeat, but Kai can with a single stab with a katana.
8. Typically, all the good guys live in a bright, sepia toned city while the bad guys hail from a dark and blue town.
9. Terrible plot by the bad guys to shame Lord Asano into committing suicide instead of killing him outright and making it look like an accident. The outcome would have been the same.
10. Kai invokes Shrek by living in a mud hut in the woods and only Mika visits him because they’re in love. Her father doesn’t notice this for some reason. Any good Asian father would have seriously injured the boyfriend by this point, especially when he has an entire army at his command.
11. The bad guy, Lord Kira, knows about Mika’s naughty thoughts of Kai, despite initially thinking she is her father’s concubine. This makes no sense at all.
12. Oishi, Asano’s former samurai leader is surprised that Kai can fight very well, despite living with him and going hunting with him for years.
13. Cliched storyline about half-breed outcast being persecuted by peers thrown in your face when Oishi ignores warnings about magical witch lady.
14. Kira attempts to break the will of Oishi by sticking him down a deep dark place with no outside contact. After a year, his will hasn’t been broken, but they release him anyway. Do they not check these things before dumb decisions are made? Why not just leave him in there forever?
15. Pirates in Japan. What the hell were they all doing clustered in the one place?
16. Pirates who can’t shoot.
17. Oishi asks Kai to help him exact revenge on Kira purely because he said something about magical witch lady previously, and nothing about his fighting skills.
18. Oishi knows that Kai is in love with Mika and uses her as motivation to get Kai’s help. Mika’s dad must not be a good Asian parent.
19. Magical witch lady trying to be seductive, which turns out to be absolutely campy.
20. Kai was a member of a tribe of powerful mystical warriors and escaped as a child. These guys didn’t mind letting all their secrets out? If so, why did he run so desperately? On the other hand, why didn’t they just mystically kill him if they wanted to remain isolated and unknown to the world?
21. Said mysterious tribe then gives all 47 ronin brand new swords for no good reason other than a need to show off some CGI.
22. The ronin try to kill Kira just before he marries Mika, while at his ancestral shrine, which ends up being a trap. Why didn’t the ronin ambush them on the way there? They knew when he was going. Surely they could have sent scouts out to see how many people he had with him!
23. Magical witch lady is stupid. She thinks she killed all 47 ronin in the trap, but in fact only killed a few and makes the claim despite not finding any bodies.
24. On the eve of battle, all grievances the ronin had with Kai are mysteriously solved in short dialogues. Seriously, years of torment and anguish are washed away with a short conversation.
25. Despite not originally even a samurai, Kai is now a ronin even though he’s not passed samurai school and isn’t even a member of the nobility.
26. The only comic relief in the movie, the fat hobbit ronin, dies. There were only two funny parts in the movie. He was in both.
27. Apart from two funny scenes, the dialogue in the movie is excruciatingly boring, pointless and doesn’t add to the plot or the world building.
28. The scenery in the movie is either brightly coloured and happy or incredibly dark and ominous with nothing in between.
29. There are more than 47 ronin in the final battle.
30. Conveniently, in the last battle, something goes wrong because one of Kira’s guards manages to let an arrow off before getting killed.
31. Slightly more than 47 ronin can hold their own against over 1,000 men in the final battle against Kira. None of the ronin die.
32. The giant magical samurai Kira commands is actually a useless set of armour.
33. Magical witch lady transforms into a dragon made of bed sheets.
34. After a protracted battle, Kai reveals his ability to also transform into bed sheets to kill magical witch lady.
35. A giant firebreathing dragon is killed with one katana stab.
36. Despite being in love, Kai and Mika don’t do any hanky panky at the end. Not even a lap dance.
37. The final battle ends because Oishi holds up the head of Kira for all to see. Except he’s quite far away from the battle and it’s dark. He could have held up anyone’s severed head then.
38. Kira’s men are obviously not very loyal because they don’t exact revenge on the ronin despite them just offing their leader.
39. All the samurai are sentenced to death for doing the right thing. Even the shogun congratulates them for it.
40. The shogun looks constipated. Always.
41. Kai joins the samurai in killing themselves despite not being a samurai.
42. The shogun stops Oishi’s son from killing himself to preserve his bloodline due to loyal service. What about the other 46 or whatever ronin left? Weren’t they also loyal?
43. Despite knowing he’s about to die, Mika still doesn’t offer Kai any hanky panky. Not even a lap dance.
44. Kai is so pure and good that despite the lack of said lap dance he’ll search for her in the next hundred lives on ten thousand worlds. That’s honestly the only romantic thing in the whole movie. But also stalkerish and creepy.
45. Despite the romantic storyline, the two actors have no chemistry. Although, they do share the same facial expression throughout the whole thing. Those scowls must mean something.
46. Too many storyline cliches.
47. Mika finds a letter that Kai wrote to her reiterating his promise to search for her in all his next lives blah, blah. Still very stalkerish!

I hope that’s a comprehensive list, but I’m sure that there are more issues I haven’t listed or remember. However, I don’t recommend you making any effort to find out.


Minus forty seven. Million.

Should I watch this?

Only if you like punishing yourself (and your wallet) by watching bad movies.


3 thoughts on “47 Ronin

  1. Very creative and fun to read. I was thinking of giving this film a shot, despite how bad it looks. But not down anymore, I think it would drive me insane. I do not even get to see any hanky panky….

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