13 Assassins - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

13 Assassins Reviews

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June 24, 2017
Almost A perfect action movie. I couldn't be more impressed. This is a masterwork. Miike was already one of my favorite filmakers, but this movie puts him over the top.
Miike finally made a straight forward action movie. I thought it would never happen. I wasn't sure I wanted it to happen. But it happened. And its a masterpiece.
The movie has a very long set-up. They front load the first 20 minutes of film with some violence so we properly hate the bad guy, then the next hour brilliantly slows down, as they assemble the first 12 assassins and slowly plan things out and build up the the big battle. Its this hour that gives the film its impact.
Two competing "generals" (who have a great respect for each other) play cat and mouse as they size each other up. Shinzaemon, the leader of the Assasins is a great enigmatic character who is willing to sacrifice the whole mission on "Luck"
He is best described by his rival Habei where he basically says; "Shinzaemon is not the smartest tactician, he's not a particularly good fighter, but he never gives up. He's the kind of guy that outlasts you and wins in the end" Its Shinzaemons movie, and he's perfectly acted by koji Yakusho.
There is a brilliant melodramatic scene toward the end of the planning phase where Shinzaemon makes a "lets ride to our deaths" speech as thunder and lightning builds in the background setting up some great shots of our heroes riding horses in the rain.
There is almost no comedy, until they introduce the 13th assassin. I don't want to ruin anything about him. except to say he is the comic relief, and he kills it. Very funny, and I don't think it could be played by any other actor. I don't know where they found that guy, but he owns the role. He's kind of the classic "step and fetch it" character, but his ongoing commentary on samuraii culture is a nice touch. The absurd character is the perfect person to point out the absurdity of the noble man.
The final battle scene is close to an hour long and take place entirely in one location. Thats right, almost an hour. Miike makes you wait for it, but when the chaos begins, he gives us spectacular pay off.
You get all the tough guy moments you could want and more. I won't ruin any of the surprises, but I assure you, its awesome. One of the hero death scenes in is my favorite hero death scene I've ever seen.
And theres flaming bulls.
Miike holds himself in check all the way untill the last scene of the movie, where he clearly couldn't help himself and had to do something weird, almost just to say "oh you like that shit? Well don't forget, Im Miike Takashi!!!!!"
An instant classic. Its an age old story, told straight forward. I highly recommend this movie.
½ March 25, 2017
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½ March 21, 2017
Miike's Samurai epic may be a remake of Eiichi Kudô's 1963 film, but the film it is most reminiscent of is "Seven Samurai". Both are set in an era where the samurai's influence was waning, and both involve a group of samurai banding together undertake a suicide mission as a last expression of their code and way of life. The villain is not bandits in this film. It's the Shogun's brother who is a monstrously evil, narcissistic monster who needs to die because he is also the Shogun's heir. Shinzaemon Shimada is enlisted to assassinate him, and he recruits 12 other warriors to ambush him as he passes through a small village on his way to Edo. The 75 guards they are anticipating turn out to be 200 and a battle commences that takes up the last half of the film. This is some of the best action choreography I have ever seen, and like "Seven Samurai", an hour of this isn't even close to too much.
January 6, 2017
Definitely one of if not the best samurai movie I've ever seen. The storyline helps to setup one of the most intense fight scenes. The enemy is a monster which makes the battle well worth waiting for in the last 45 minutes. Not a huge fan of subtitle movies but this ones worth it. I've watched this movie a dozen times and would watch it again. Love the part where our hero drops the "total massacre" banner.
½ November 22, 2016
I'm not a huge fan of samurai pictures in general, especially the ones like "13 Assassins" where people kill each other and fills the screen with bloodbath. I'm also not a big fan of Takeshi Miike either; while I admire him as director and he sometimes does make some entertaining films, generally I don't really like his style. There are several gripping and spectacular moments in the film, and it has very well-rounded characters, including its villain. It has a lot more substance than most samurai films, but I also found some of the violence grotesque and there is one minor flaw involving the "death" of one of the assassins, which didn't make any sense. Overall, "13 Assassins" is an entertaining film and a well-crafted one, but it's not really my cup of tea.
½ November 9, 2016
Masterfully directed with unapologetic violence, 13 Assassins is an electrifying and entertaining combination of dramatic story amidst impressive action sequences, even when it is very derivative of other classic films.
½ October 4, 2016
Great homage to Seven Samurai
½ September 27, 2016
From boring to exhilarating.
August 4, 2016
A very beautiful film about the sunset of samurais
½ July 19, 2016
It started well enough, but just got too unbelievable and silly in the end. If you watched everything else and have two long hours to waist, then this is the movie for you.
May 13, 2016
The last samurai meets the kill bill crazy 88 scene, meets 300.
May 4, 2016
"13 Assassins" is gleefully absurd as it is violent, the plot (and who will live and die) is glaringly obvious, and how little we know of the assassins is disappointing, but this film was a hell of a lot of fun to watch!
March 13, 2016
What a spectacular love letter to the genre.
March 9, 2016
With more realism than one would expect, you witness a showing of the grand theme of honor: the Japanese way.
½ February 26, 2016
So that kicked ass. Definitely very traditional, like an exceptionally crisp looking 60's nihon eige.
½ February 20, 2016
A good film for fans of samurai movies; a far better movie than 'The Last Samurai' set in a similar time period.

Themes include honor, duty, and sacrifice.
½ January 30, 2016
having to sit through 3/4s of a film with just confusing names, places, and traditions that none of us understand or can follow to just see a last 1/4 section of mostly just random sword swinging with one of the most cheesy villains around- kinda leaves you with a "meh".
½ December 27, 2015
Horrible! HORRIBLE MOVIE! Total waste of time
½ December 26, 2015
Perfect film from beginning to end that fleshes out idealism, honor and the conflicting culture of feudal Japan. The action is unrelenting in a good way as it captivates in the way it is filmed and the inventive ways of violence. The story structure has great character development despite a simple premise and it transcends the barrier of a Japanese samurai film and becomes a great film. 4.5 out 5 stars
½ December 13, 2015
Besides the stunning set pieces and atmosphere, 13 Assassins has a ferocious energy to it and an excellent cast that elevate it to become a very powerful and rewarding story of justice. The action scenes are electrifying and the costumes are amazing.
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