Review: 13 Assassins
Takashi Miike – a man who has previously unleashed the likes of Audition and Ichi The killer on the world – is someone of whom great care should be taken when deciding which toys he be allowed to play with.
Letting him lose with knives, swords, indeed anything sharp would seem to be a bad idea and any kind of Samurai piece a definite no no.
The number of walkouts during the opening half hour of this Seven Samurai-style historical epic when it was screened at the London Film Festival would suggest that he's got a bit carried away again.
He certainly takes it to extremes hammering home exactly how depraved and evil his baddy is. A whole family, including young children, bound up for use as close range target practice with his bow and arrow was a particularly nasty touch.
After that, though, the film settles down a bit and quite a lot of the sword-slashing dismembering is left to the imagination, though quite a lot isn't.
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The first hour is heavy with some bewilderingly convoluted exposition; so the early nasty stuff does at least fix in the viewer's mind who the villain is and why he should be stopped.
Most of the rest of it is just a mystifying round of hari kiris, honour debts and shoguns.
- 1 Brother and sister found dead in their home are named
- 2 Why is it so difficult to buy bottled water?
- 3 Neighbours' horror after two people found dead in 'peaceful close'
- 4 Comedian Rufus Hound on the hunt for hotel in Norwich
- 5 Twin Bakes sell out of treats during first pop-up sale
- 6 'Music, food and motor cars': Festival set to return to Norwich
- 7 Parts of busy Norwich road to be shut for three days for repairs
- 8 Every Norfolk primary school rated as 'Outstanding'
- 9 Norwich pub to temporarily close this summer because of 'pingdemic'
- 10 See artist's fascinating pictures of Norwich's Castle Mall construction
The surprise is how straightforward and respectful a take on Kurosawa's historical epic this is.
It's very well done. The final showdown is all the action you could possibly need and a little bit more, going on for a good half hour.
13 Assassins (15)
Director: Takashi Miike
With: K�ji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Y�suke iseya, Gor� Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura and Mikijiro Hira
Length: 141 mins