Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Blade of the 47 Ronin

A sequel of sorts to the 2013 film which offered a fantastical take on the true events of the Akō incident, Blade of the 47 Ronin takes place hundreds of years later with an evil wizard (Dan Southworth) coming to power and looking to kill off the last descendant of the original 47 Ronin who alone is destined to destroy him and prevent his rise to power. 

Anna Akana stars as Luna, a mostly unlikable American unaware (and at first largely uninterested) in her family history or her role in larger events. Helping protect her are a secret society of samurai (Teresa Ting, Chikako Fukuyama, Luna Fujimoto, Mike Moh, Mark Dacascos, and Chikako Fukuyama) who want to train her and see her realize her destiny.

The fault with Luna lies more in the character rather than Akana's performance which limits her to different one-note versions of the character. First we get Luna the thief, then Luna the student, and finally Luna the warrior. Never do we really explore Luna the person except in small moments briefly related to her family history which quickly get swallowed up by the rest of the film.

As goofy as all of this sounds, sadly Blade of the 47 Ronin is dreadfully straightlaced. It never embraces the absurdity necessary to make this story work. It's not goofy enough nor self-conscious enough to laugh at despite its faults which instead drag the film down preventing it from becoming a "good" bad flick. Nor are the other samurai, aside from Ting's Onami, given room to breathe becoming marginal characters nearly as interchangeable and faceless as the ninja.

We're given plenty of plot disguised as dialogue and arterial spray from all manner of faceless ninja (who apparently buy their costumes in bulk from Dick's Sporting Goods) the samurai kill, but little else in a film that could have found far more interesting ways to have fun with its quasi-magical concept (which involves not only a He-Man storyline of merging two magic swords of power but also at least two too many twists).

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Blade of the 47 Ronin
  • IMDb: link

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