Ok this new type of blog is about movies that I watched and I believe it won’t show it here. Thanks to distributors and our lovely MTRCB.. Jerks!!! hehe Just a simple review perhaps hehe Anyhow, let’s start with this!!!!
The title should be 14 Assassins, or 13 Samurai, or 13 Ronins. Whatever, but this one is epic. =)
Story starts as one samurai commits harakiri, suicide infront of a temple then of course, died. The samurai elder head is very depressed on what’s happening after that suicide, this happening because of the acts of a very sadistic, evil Lord who will succeed in the shogun council. Even he is only an adopted son and half brother of the current Shogun, they have no choice by the council, to appoint him.
The elder called his trusted right hand samurai to help what to do to the evil lord. Meanwhile, that trusted samurai, namely Shinzaemon, well Shinza for short, I hope the subtitle is right. hehe Shinza is talking to a disgraced samurai who witness how this evil lord started this trouble, he recount the story on what happened to his son and daughter in law, in the hands of this lord and thought of killing himself but cannot due to the circumstances of his clan.. He asks for guidance and help from Shinza..
Shinza, well, talking to the elder and the elder also shared another horrific story about the lord kidnapping a girl and made her his plaything.. And decapitated her limbs, and slashed out her tongue. The girl is asking for help and the elder as well, Shinza decided to carry out the mission.. To kill the evil lord.
On the other side, Shinza’s counterpart is Hanbei, the right hand of Lord Naritsugu, is planning to guess who will disturb his Lord’s plans to come and commemorate his Lord to the council.. He thought of Shinza because of his wisdom and righteousness, faith in the way of the sword doctrine. Hanbei is also a good one but he had no choice to have a higher position but to join forces with the evil lord than working in a simple life. Since at that time, it’s already at peace due to the banning of samurai swords and wars are coming at halt.
Shinza formed his team, and with his assistant, one by one, they were to gather the best samurai that they can get at that time. Well, first was Shinza’s only and best student. Then the student has also of disciple of his, a very young one but willed to serve. The assistant both 5 of his best guards, which brings to 8. They hired a low key assassin, which I believe the real only assassin in the group, for only 200 ryo. The assassin as well using his spear as a weapon.They got another 2 samurai for explosive purposes and lastly, and ironically, Shinza’s nephew who is a playboy and gambler but formerly, he is a great samurai. That brings you to 12 I suppose.
Shinza gave an inspiring message about the mission and it’s for the great cause, to avoid chaos and war again in Japan.. Serving and giving their lives for the greater good. All of them simply agree..
They set up the map and thought of well, they need to buy out a town to carry out the attack.. They got the town and assigned people to go there and buy out the town, that includes the mayor as well.
They asked help from the one who was disgraced by the evil Lord to change the path of the lord, which he obliged.
The group waited for the lord to go out first then they will roll out. It took them 3 days to wait and after that, they go on and go to the town to set up the trap..
As they were on a journey, they found a outcast hanging in a tree, and helped out. Since they are lost at that time, good thing that this outcast is a guide to a town that they are looking for.
Lord Naritsugu went to the town of the disgraced samurai and he tried to mock the samurai to let him pass but it did not happen even at this status. The disgraced samurai was happy of the result but as he told earlier, he wants to end his life due to the wrong decision he made that cost 2 important lives, he commits harakiri.
The team was able to set up the town with traps, explosives and the trail on how the attack will go through. As they thought it will be only 70 people will be coming as they scouted, they waited.. But they have a bad feeling the Lord went to a different route because it takes so long to cross to their trap.
One morning as one of the assassins scouting, he found out that the group is coming but not 70, it’s 200 troops. They thought that Hanbei, as an assurance, brought more troops because of the tactic of Shinza.
The group of Lord Naritsugu finally arrive to the desserted trap town and Shinza is waiting for them.. The long battle went on as explosions and traps are set out, from 200 to 130, until to 70, then 30.. so on.. However as the battle wears on, the heroes are going down one by one in their unavoidable end.. Then as Lord Naritsugu group just bring down to 4, him, 2 body guards plus Hanbei.. Then Shinza and nephew only left from the assassin group.
Shinza and Hanbei had a match but well, Hanbei was killed mercilessly.. Then Shinza as tired he was, wants to kill the evil lord, inadvertedly, the lord was able to stab Shinza but as strong spirit he has.. He was able to finish off the evil Lord.. Sadly, Shinza as tired and stabbed, he died.. Nephew is still alive and surprinsingly, after stabbed by Naritsugu and slashed by Hanbei the outcast is still alive!
As the nephew leaves the bloody scene, tries to throw the sword but it cannot.. He left the scene and cut!
Ok, this is it.. I have watched many chanbara “japanese samurai films” and well the greatest is 7 Samurai, I can say, well, the second best is Zatoichi, by Shintaro Katsu and/or Beat Kitano..
Now, it’s still 7 Samurai but the next is this film.. Why?
Damn great.. It beat the hell out of other samurai flicks or war flicks like 300. More realistic in a way as you see..
Of course, this film is not perfect there are few bad apples for it. One is the battle is quite long, even it’s great but there are parts are repetitive and less gore. Which is surprising from Takashi Miike? Maker of my fave japanese flick, Ichi the Killer. hehe That one has more gore and blood..
This one, it has more blood, but well, not so much gore but it was good. At first, I was surprised, he directed this.
Next one is well, I hope, he did not kill Shinza.. It was sad after all the planning, the gamble he made and I hope his reward not only killing the evil Lord but he should be alive. Please.. But well, since this was a remake (which I’m suprised that this is a remake), he became faithful of the story perhaps. But please, I hope, he’s still alive. Shinza has a high possibility that he will live because he can easily slash the ignorant sword yielding lord but due to the talking and tired dude, he was stabbed. Damn.. If there is a director’s cut and changed that part, that will be great! hehe Besides, almost all the chanbara films, let the main hero live. =)
The best parts of the film, yes, Takashi Miike did not rush the film as it looks, even well, I don’t know if he rushed it again like his previous films. hehe
It looks magnificent, fantastic acting, even the speechless girl.. Damn that is so scary.. And pity on her.. Great actors, like the villain in the infamous movie Ninja of Scott Adkins, the jap villain their is in this film and he is my fave assassin. Composed, loyal and living in the way of the sword. Especially the scene how he killed around 20-30 people in one scene. With the help of course of his student. The pace of the film, even the long battle scene, it’s not boring and many suprises, such as the burning bull, the explosions as well.. The wall trap, those factors are simply great. The lead actor is very good, the leader indeed. The villain, Hanbei and yes even the Evil Lord. Damn Miike, I think he like sadistic villains. hehe He puts signature of his previous films, for example the speechless girl, that factor came from Audition, what girl does to her victims. Ichi the Killer, the sadistic lord compare to Kakihara.
The gore factor is great, even not that many.. Damn great.. Blood factor, great as well, as they all soaked in blood. The action scenes, and sword fighting are great, with some comic relief. Dramatic acting is great especially the scenes how these brave souls agreed to the mission. The man factor, as you know to Japanese men, they have a lot of pride and way of the sword factor.. Indeed showing in the film. Like in 300.. Very testosterone pumped! hehe
Shock factor, indeed great.. Many scenes I was shocked, like yes the nobody dude is still alive! The killings and suicide scenes, and how the elder and Shinza friend descibing the wickedness of the Evil Lord. Things like that, and my fave scene, the one who was disgraced and helped the hereos, commits harakiri in front of his clan. They bowed and while the leader already stabbed himself, I was looking the other guy, has the sword with him and I thought maybe if the leader backs out, he will kill him. Nope, after he stabbed himself, the guard slashed his head off in a precise shot. Without showing the head really fell out. Damn. Yikes! hehe
Well, overall, my second best Miike film was Audition, but due to this, this is the second one. Damn. hehe At all the japanese films, I ranked this in the top 10 or 20.. Wow..
Great thing, they are Japanese still making the global scene Takashi Miike and the great Beat Kitano.. Still alive and kicking and how the japanese films are working, it’s doing fine but well, they still have a strong competition with Korean and HK films.
I hope they can still make this good films, not samurai films but more interesting films that are good and have meaning. As long there is subtitles. hehe
For now, this film, really makes you get a sword and help their mission! hehe
It is better than 300 because of realism and well planned but I don’t say I don’t care 300 anymore, damn that film is one of the best. But sorry, this one is better!
Take up your sword..