Monday, August 8, 2011

13 ASSASSINS (2010)

Set in the 1830's Japan you have this dude, Naritsugu, who's a total asshole. His hobbies include: tying up families and shooting arrows at them until they are dead (kids included), raping women (including one who he chopped off her arms and legs and tongue first and murdered her family then raped her), indiscriminately killing whoever and walks on the beach. Normally that kind of shit is not allowed in polite society, but Naritsugu is the son of a former Shogun and brother of the current Shogun! Word gets around that he's being a butthole, so some samurai decide to kill this guy for the greater good of the country.

That's easier said than done because this guy is highly guarded, so once they assemble their team of assassins they decide their best bet is to kill him while he's on the road traveling from one town to another. They do all kinds of shit and set up a trap, but once the trap is sprung it's not just a few guards, but over 200 against their 13!!!! Oh shit.

The highlight of the movie is the long as fuck battle scene that takes up the last third of the movie. Even despite some of the cheesy CGI it's a fun battle and one of the best in recent years, but it still doesn't carry the weight and emotion of some of the older Samurai classics like SAMURAI REBELLION, HARAKIRI, YOJIMBO/SANJURO, THE SWORD OF DOOM and of course SEVEN SAMURAI. The fight looks big and pretty, but I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters.

I know it kinda sounds like I was disappointed in 13 ASSASSINS and I guess, in a way, I was. Mainly because I listened to all the hype. It is a good movie and a fun watch, but I doubt that I would ever watch it again. The villain starts out to be a real asshole, but I wish he had been more threatening instead of in the end coming off as insane. More blood would have been nice also and not that crappy looking CG blood, I hate that shit. Also the CG bulls looked dumb as fuck. On one positive note the super brief appearance by Kazue Fukiishi made my day.
There is no way this shot is not a nod to Mifune and Kurosawa.

Kazue Fukiishi?! Yes, please!