Thirteen warriors come together to
assassinate a sadistic warlord in Feudal Japan.
13 Assassins (2010)
Directed by Takashi Miike
Written by Daisuke Tengan
Starring Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya,
Masachika Ichimura, Gorô Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Ihara,
Masataka Kubota, Sôsuke Takaoka, Arata Furuta
Remake of 1963's 13 Assassins
There was a time not that long ago when Japan was ruled by the shoguns, ruthless warlords who commanded legions and demanded fealty. This was also the time of the samurai, the noble Japanese warrior who fought for honor. 13 Assassins tells the story of a group of samurai who came together for the good of the people to defy their honor and kill a sadistic warlord who threatened the lives of all under his rule. Veteran director Takashi Miike delivers a film that does not shirk on the violence, particularly in the grisly third act.
The characters are all pretty bland and interchangeable, but in ensemble films like this, it's hard to put faces to names. Just look at The Hobbit trilogy. The standout is the villain, Lord Naritsugu, who is easily one of the slimiest bastards to ever grace the silver screen. A good American comparison would be Game of Thrones's Ramsay Bolton, so any GOT fans will know that this guy is a sick piece of s**t. He takes pleasure in pain, particularly causing women pain. He's the reason these warriors come together. If he ever sits on the shogun's council, everyone will suffer. Watching the assassins tear through his army is one of the most badass fight scenes in recent years.
I honestly wasn't into this movie until the epic third act, which redeemed the entire thing. It's the scene the audience has been waiting for, and boy does it pay off. I wish that the buildup to the battle had been more exciting, as most of it is quite dull. Still, it does have the battle and that's worth watching. I've been putting off watching Takashi Miike's supposed masterpiece, Audition, for quite some time due to the fact that I know it's going to freak me out beyond repair. But after watching this film, maybe the time has come. Miike's quite the filmmaker.