Friday, December 4, 2015

47 Ronin Film Review


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I Always Like to Keep My Audience Riveted!

So, in lieu of an actual review today (since there were no advance screenings of I, Frankenstein and I couldn’t bring myself to see The Legend of Hercules) I’ll be taking a trip back in time to a little over three weeks ago. It was another Thursday night and I was off to the local cinema to catch the early screening of the new Keanu Reeves action flick 47 Ronin. I wasn’t too excited about it, but I had a friend coming with me to ease some of the expected horribleness, and I’d come to accept that seeing bad movies is just a part of the job here at ATG. What I wasn’t expecting was a sudden wave of exhaustion to sweep over me mid-film.

So, 47 Ronin is about a bunch of samurai who like to kill giant ram/bull/mammoths in their free time in between looking stern and chopping out their own entrails. There’s a “half-breed” played by Keanu who gets treated like dung because he’s the most intelligent and resourceful member of the samurai’s ram/bull/mammoth hunting posse, and because he’s Canadian (filthy flaphead…). So, the leader of the pack (vroom! vroom!) dies, making all of the samurai into ronin, or samurai without a master.

They are all banished from the land, and Keanu’s little Japanese princess girlfriend is taken hostage in her own home by the vile… err… bad guy. One of the ronin goes off with his wife and child and tries to rebuild his life only to find that his slice of domestic bliss is moldy. Soon, he begins hatching a plot to retake his master’s lands and bring down bad guy. Meanwhile bad guy says, “Hey, Keanu’s Girlfriend, we’re gonna get married and I’m gonna baby the fuck out of you.” She then says, “Ick.”

Leader Ronin Guy finally stumbles across a piece of info that leads him to Keanu’s whereabouts. Turns out Keanu had been sold, or something, and now he hacks people’s limbs off in a small, shady arena inside a slaver’s ship. So, Leader Guy meets up with Keanu just after Keanu kills Shrek’s older, pinker, ball-and-chain wielding cousin and the two make a daring escape from the ship as that one guy with the cool bone tattoos chases them off and is never seen again for the duration of the film, even though he was on the poster, the cardboard standee, the trailer, and the tv spots. And then… I fell asleep the first time.

What seemed like moments later I awoke to find Keanu and Leader Guy, along with the 45 other ronin, battling a bunch of teleporting Voldemort knock offs as the singularly worst audio I’ve ever heard blasted through the speakers. It seriously sounded like the Sound Guy recorded the action on a Talkboy, and not even the big Talkboy from Home Alone, but the little shitty pen version that only let you record six three second messages. I quickly lost the will to live through this shitty sounding massacre and slipped back into my comatose state.

Normally, if I haven’t seen a film before it’s damn near impossible for me to fall asleep during it or in general be distracted from it. The first time I see something I try to absorb as much as possible, like a dog who licks his food dish clean ten times over. I’ve even tried to fall asleep during films at home, and it doesn’t work. One time I got really drunk and fell asleep at the midnight showing of Prometheus, but this film was a special kind of unremarkable. I wasn’t even that tired going into it, but somehow it managed to lull me to dreamland. Everything up to the parts where I dozed off was so bland and unoriginal, and all the acting was so painfully weak, that I couldn’t help but stop caring about this film.

Now, when I woke for the final time, I saw Keanu fighting some giant dragon thing (yeah, the thing from the trailer). He bested the dragon thing and in the next scene, all the ronin promptly committed seppuku. I asked my friend what I missed, and he rapidly filled me in on the totally unsurprising, boring, and cliche scenes of epic speeches, night raids on a castle, and a whole lotta LOTR style walking shots. I was relieved to hear I didn’t miss a whole lot, but at the same time I couldn’t bring myself to write a proper review of a film I hadn’t actually seen all the way through. And, since I decided to see Inside Llewyn Davis last night instead of Hercules, you get to read this lovely rant about how boring 47 Ronin was.

On the original site, we had a special rating that was only given to media that was so boring, awful, or uninspired that we simply couldn’t finish it. We never actually had to give out a DNF (Did Not Finish), even though we read and watched some real stinkers, but now I think we’ve found our first one. It’s not like 47 Ronin was the worst movie I’d ever seen, I mean I sat through The Host and The Lone Ranger in theaters (ugh…), but there was just something so lame about it. Devil’s Due, which I reviewed last week, was also pretty bland, but 47 Ronin really takes the shit cake and runs with it. As the movie was in theaters for like a week, I assume most of you haven’t seen it. Well, keep it that way. There are way better movies you could spend your time watching.

47 Ronin is a film in the same way that poop is just old food.

Score: DNF

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