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13 Assassins (2010)
Director: Takashi Miike Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Gorô Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura, Mikijiro Hira, Hiroki Matsukata, Ikki Sawamura, Arata Furuta, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Masataka Kubota, Sôsuke Takaoka, Seiji Rokkaku, Yûma Ishigaki, Kôen Kondô
No, this movie is not a remake of Seven Samurai, I thought it was more like Musa: the Warrior, Dragon Inn or even the Alamo. The story follows a group of samurai tasked with taking down a brutal lord by most trusted advisor of such.
They know it is a suicide mission from the start and prepare as such, with one of their number even paying for his own funeral preparations up front. There are some lighter scenes in this with the way the main characters talk to each other.
It is well established how evil the bad guy is with the limbless woman and then showing him using an entire family as target practice. He doesn't really get to say much himself though, but does seem to be excited about the attempt on his life in some perverse way.
There is a lot of yelling and serious samurai talk in the movie, with a lot of the action not starting until quite a way through the film. I would not give up on it early because of this as there has to be time to establish the characters and find out if you care about them.
This pays off when the battle starts in the village with a lot of things happening at once, even though the odds are stacked against them, you still want the samurai to have a chance of winning.
The battle scenes are very well staged, with an audience favourite being the flaming bulls. I was surprised at the understated blood splatter given this is a Miike film. Towards the end there is blood everywhere and it is hard to see if people are bleeding or just dirty.
I would recommend this movie to people even if they don't really like Miike's other movies as this is very different to his other movies as the setting and characters have forced him to tone it down somewhat. It should do well with its intended audience and also on DVD when it comes out later in the year.
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