As much as I like Keanu Reeves, and read about his sad circumstances surrounding his family, and tales of his extreme generosity toward his film crew, I really don’t understand what he was doing in 47 Ronin.
Based on a real life group of 18th century samurai, it’s supposed to be a tale about maintaining honour and integrity, as well as the plotting of vengeance against the murderer of their master. But nooo, they had to weave in a story about one of the ronins being a half breed human-demon (Keanu), a sexy witch shape-shifter, and random CGI orcs, monsters and one heavily tattooed guy, who has his own character poster, but less than 3 minutes of screen time.
Keanu Reeves is Kai, a half breed human-demon who is servant to Lord Asano. When Lord Asano is framed, and subsequently ordered to commit seppuku (death by suicide), his band of samurai become masterless (ronins), and banished from the land by Lord Kira, the person who framed Asano.
The ronins, led by Oishi, secretly plan vengeance. However, as Lord Kira is aided by sexy witch-fox-dragon thing Rinko Kikuchi, they need to enlist the help of Kai, whose mysterious past and possible demonic links could tip the odds in their favour.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, we run into mythical creatures, weird 3 minute tattoo face guy (whose real life backstory is so much more interesting than the film), chopstick-wielding hair and lizard face monster monks, while words like honour and vengeance are bandied about freely in a “tell, not show” manner.
The rambling narrative makes the 2 hour runtime feel like 4 hours, and Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) tries too hard to be sultry, but just comes across looking irritated and uncomfortable wearing coloured contacts.