Keanu Reeves is one of the best examples of a love him or hate him movie star. I don’t know many people who are on the fence about him. I for one love the guy, he is a solid star who does a great variety of roles and has done some of the best action films around. From Point Break to Speed to the Bill and Ted films, and then with the legendary Matrix Trilogy, Keanu has solidified himself a place among the biggest stars around. His new film, 47 Ronin, is a passion project Keanu has been working on for years, finally seeing its debut this year and seeing its home video debut this week.
Kai (Reeves) is a young half breed in ancient Japan who is taken in by Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) and his band of Samurai. Years later Lord Asano is tricked and dies by the hand of Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) who plans to take over his kingdom. But Lord Asano’s now masterless Samurai join with Kai to avenge their master’s death and reclaim what was his.
47 Ronin did not perform well taking in only $38 000 in box office on an almost $200 million dollar budget, but don’t let that keep you from seeing this film. It is a well-crafted, fairy tale of a story that is visually stunning, action packed and wondrous. Keanu is very good in the role of the half breed looked down upon by everyone who eventually gains their respect and becomes a force to be reckoned with. The cast of Japanese actors hired to support Keanu are all recognizable faces from Japanese cinema and are brilliant in their respective roles. 47 Ronin is a story rich in history in Japan and first time director Carl Rinsch does an admirable job of making a Hollywood movie that still retains a lush Asian feel and also carried a dreamy fairy tale mystique.
The Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is absolutely gorgeous. Loads of vibrant color, incredible detail and clarity and a sweeping soundtrack highlight this great disc and make it one of the best show off Blu-ray’s of the year. A hidden gem that deserved better at the box office, 47 Ronin will surely gain a solid following on home video.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.