Trailer Tuesday: 47 Ronin
Alright, so my inherent soft spot for samurai swords and shiny CGI-enhanced visuals (yeah, The Warrior's Way is one of my guilty pleasures) means I'm probably more keen for upcoming fantasy actioner 47 Ronin than is wise...
Particularly when you consider how troubled production on this movie has been. Shot in 2011, the release date for 47 Samurai has already been pushed back twice, by over a full year. In that time, control was wrestled away from the first-time feature film director by the studio, the budget ballooned to close on $200 million and reshoots were made to apparently increase the size of star Keanu Reeves's role.
None of these is a good sign!
Neither is the fact that 47 Ronin is set to open in North America on 25 December, a time normally reserved for embarrassments and/or oddities that Hollywood distributors don't know what to do with.
Regardless, 47 Ronin looks like a load of escapist - probably very stupid and superficial - fun. Shot specifically for 3D, the film takes the true 18th Century story of the 47 Ronin, or Chushingura, and gives it a fantasy spin. Half-breed outcast Kai is recruited for a revenge mission initiated by a band of samurai left masterless after the murder of their lord. Kai steps up to "embrace his destiny as the Chosen One", blah blah blah... and in the process must fight monsters, demons and shape-shifting dragon sorceresses.
Seriously though, who really is going to be watching 47 Ronin for its plot? In its first trailer it comes across like a po-faced blend of 300 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, with the addition of exotic Far Eastern locations and fantasy iconography to sweeten the deal.
As already mentioned, 47 Ronin is currently set to open in North America on Christmas Day. The South African release date is just 2 days later, 27 December.