Top of the Flops 5: 47 Ronin

Following in the footsteps of Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves plays an inexplicable samurai in 47 Ronin. “Woah dude, I’m in Japan…”

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According to Wikipedia, this is the biggest box office bomb of all time. Released in 2013, it cost a ludicrous $225m and lost a ridiculous $150m, making it the biggest waste of money since the EdStone.

It’s another case of movie-making by committee, throwing random CGI monsters into an otherwise straight-faced samurai tale. Marketed as a 3D action movie, there are only about 2 fight scenes in the whole film. This would be fine if there were some decent characters, but these indistinguishable warriors are more like the 47 Dronin’.

In fairness, the visuals and cinematography are impressive, with some rather gorgeous sets; too bad there’s nothing happening on them.

The pacing is inept, the material rote and the performances poor. Most of the cast are Japanese people acting in English, but what’s Keanu’s excuse? Miscast as the half-caste outcast, he’s supposed to be half-Japanese and half-English, which is weird because he’s quite clearly neither.

While the film represents its Japanese source with a certain amount of resolve, it simply fails to translate into a Hollywood adventure, and ends up being a real endurance test.

Financially disastrous and critically Ja-panned, 47 Ronin makes The Last Samurai look like Seven Samurai.

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