13 Assassins Reviews
Saw this on 28/11/15
It starts off pretty well with a dark theme not quite seen in Samurai films and a devastating villain, however, it could have done away with a bit more of plot and a lesser resemblance to Seven Samurai. It has some fantastic cinematography, some violent non-stop action. The CGI could have been better. Like 7 samurai, it's also difficult in here to distinguish some of the assassins mostly because of a lesser character development.
I'm not a fan of the main bad guy, though. Because of the director, when I read it was like Seven Samurai and women were raped I was expecting something crazy from Miike. Rape is terrible, but when used properly it can highlight a point and elevate the emotional sting of a plot. All we get here is the scene with the woman who gets her limbs removed. First of all, the woman was kind of weird. First thing you notice is the shaved eyebrows and her unusual character. Then the scene when her boyfriend is killed it's really is tragic. You feel sorry for how powerless he feels and vulnerable she is. But when they show her later it seems like it just went too far and lost its resonance, and it seems to be exploiting something terrible just to build up the main bad guy as a really bad guy. In the scenes defense, it was what I was expecting from Miike so I can't say I was disappointed. There are so many scenes there just to intensify the presence it's like he was the final boss in a Final Fantasy game.
The action is great if you like sword fighting. If not the battle might get a little disorienting at times. It has many elements of a summer blockbuster, but what makes it refreshing is the authenticity of the violence and the, literally, down to Earth setting. Seeing wood and mud explode is much more satisfying than seeing concrete and cars explode. I think the explosions are the highlight of the film, as well as the whole village, especially the gate. it's a very visual film, like most anime and action movies in general.