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Review 13 Assassins a.k.a. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010): Truly spectacular!

genre: martial arts, adventure, drama

That it took me so long to have seen this. I can honestly say that I wholeheartedly regret having waited all this time. Then why did I wait so long? Well, director Takashi Miike has a tendency to make real weird and bizarre films. The kind that requires you to be in a certain mood for in order to enjoy them. I mistakenly believed 13 Assassins was going to be something like Ichi the Killer for example. But that is not the case at all.

13 Assassins is a pretty straightforward and conventional samurai film where sub plots and other complexities are avoided. And yet you will still know what the majority of the characters are about. Especially in the beginning you will get confronted with some facts that will make your stomach turn. BTW this is a prime example of how to effectively shock your audience. Let's just say that I was rooting for the assassins all the way. It was very compelling to see them assemble and get prepared for the battle of their lifetime. In large part because of the excellent cast and naturally how they are directed. The actors aren't familiar to me and as far as I could tell they fit their roles perfectly. It really looked like they could handle themselves in sword fights. And in a movie like this that is very important. Nothing worse to see supposed Samurai fumble and stumble. Instead they deliver and how. Usually in films like these you have a climax of 15 to 20 minutes where you get to enjoy one amazing action scene after another. 13 Assassins gives you 40 to 45 minutes of this. The action is super exciting and exhilarating but more importantly it is incredibly satisfying. While the journey wasn't that long to begin with you do feel like it was one that mattered. 

I really have to emphasize the fact that there are no distractions from the main plot whatsoever. Allowing you to fully focus on the main plot and the action.  I had no idea this was a remake but that makes me want to check the original and compare the two. In any case this is definitely one of the best samurai films ever made and dare I say a must own masterpiece.

1 comment:

Dale Brown said...

Spectacular is definitely the right word.




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