Wednesday, January 25, 2012

13 Assassin Movie Review

13 Assassins by Takashi Miike has to be in my opinion one of his greatest films to date. Maybe that's not giving  the director enough credit but by god is this one hell of a samurai movie.

                     The story is this, a crazy lord is set to become the next shogun. Some of the retainers for the current shogun don't want this man to gain the title, so they employ Shinzaemon Shimada a master level samurai who in a time of peace has become wanting for battle. Shimada must find 13 willing and expert samurai to slay the tyrant. This is by far Miike greatest work and while a departure from his earlier works (Ichi the Killer comes to mind) this is still a brutal and at times gory film, but don't let that discourage you this is a film that in my mind is almost as good as Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. The actors portray their respective characters very well and it is a treat to see how different each is. It is also a treat to see how each samurai interact with each other and their mission, which will ultimately cost the highest price.

                 The cinematography in this movie is top notch, you can really tell that a master level director has held onto the reigns of his project. Especially when the climactic ending battle which is incredibly satisfying is in motion you get a sense that the director has taken his experience from past films and added everything together to create a wonderful piece of cinematic art. The battle is the main part of the film and it is in the one whole hour that we see just how awesome and brutal this movie is. We also see just how devoted each character is to the groups cause. As blades dance, blood flies, and the bodies pile we get a sense of dread as the movie shows just how brutal combat can be. The sets and locations also factor into the movie as a whole. There are no flashy, bright colours but everything is has a very sad harsh look to it, almost saying that this may be a time of peace but terrible things are happening and people are suffering. The music is also very well done, being in the perfect spots of the film and adding to it where it is found.

              In conclusion this is one of the best remakes and samurai film to date, and I suggest to everyone to watch this movie at least once it is time well spent.


+Story is strong
+Spectacular Action pieces
+Deep Characters
-Can be a little too brutal for some

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