18th century Japan. Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) is duped into attacking rival Kira (Tadanobu Asano) and ordered to commit suicide by the Shogun. Vassal Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) gathers Asano’s loyal samurai – including Kai (Keanu Reeves), a mixed-race outcast raised by demons – to prevent Kira marrying Asano’s daughter (Ko Shibasaki) and avenge their master.
Perhaps a folly and – Kikuchi aside - too deadpan to be a romp, this is still a decent, colourful samurai spectacle with a classical look (lots of symmetrical compositions) and a story which stands up under multiple retellings.
Reviewed by Kim Newman
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