16 comments on ““13 Assassins” (2010) – Japanese Samurai Swordplay Action/ Drama

  1. I am gonna watch this one of course. But I dearly hope the directors have not ruined the fight scenes by turning everything to slow motion at every possible moment. It disrupts the flow, to me it does anyway.

    • No… none of that “slow motion” stuff.

      The fights here are at times chaotic and confusing, but very realistic and bloody. Even the highly skilled heroes get sloppy and overwhelmed at times, with fights going from displays of amazing sword-skill to vicious dirty street-fights rolling in the mud and doing whatever it takes to kill your opponent. Very different from the usual Chinese or Korean swordplay films that have more of an emphasis on dazzling you with technique and style.

  2. I saw the extended version but I’d agree completely with the review. It sums it up.

    I can see why they might’ve cut out the peasant woodsman though, it doesn’t seem to entirely fit. Still like you said more characterization was needed anyway.

    • Most of the extra footage with Koyata was of a more humorous tone, and I’m thinking the “International Cut” of the film wanted to emphasize on the more gritty, bloody elements of this as a drama rather than let those moments of humor in.

      A shame really, as it helps to lift the story to something more than the typical bloodbath… showing the more human side of our heroes. But…. different strokes for different folks I guess. In my experience, Asian audiences are far more comfortable with the notion of a movie not sticking within the boundaries of one genre alone.

      • Yeah always remember the first time I watched The Host, how odd it went from despairing grief to action/comedy.

        You’re right again though, without the humour added from that character it would’ve been pretty turgid. It was the mystical aspect I found strange though.

  3. Gaki-san looks odd in this film (teehee). No side perm? 😀

    Nothing like casting against-type! Miike Takashi’s work is a mixed bag… I’ll most likely grab this one in a fit of fangirl-dom.

    • Of Miike’s films, this one sticks closest to it’s inspirational subject, I think. There are elements of it that definitely show his influence, but overall I think this one is his most “commercial” film.

  4. OK, you have convinced me… I have even taken the wrapper off of my blu-ray of this, and I intend to watch it given a chance in the next few days.

    Funny you should talk about Miike and sticking to his subject closely – I recently read the original Novel of Audition, and was utterly surprised how closely he stuck to the narrative of the book. Whilst I have loved his excesses, I still feel the restraint in Audition (until the climax) makes it his most powerful and accesible work.

    • Most definitely… he’s a talented guy, but I’ve always felt that there were times he let himself go just that extra bit too far. When he reigns that in and applies himself to “coloring inside the lines” so to speak with only a few odd touches here and there for flavor, he’s really good.

  5. Finally, the long awaited review 🙂

    Not only it sounds like 7 samurai, it also sounds like 47 ronin, of course with different honor to defend. One thing I admire the most about samurai is their strong determination.

    I hope you dont watch the dubbed version 😉 I hate dubbed movies, let them speak in their original language

    • Hehehe… actually I do always watch movies with the original language track if possible. I find it weird to be watching one without subtitles…. 🙂

      Poor Carolyn gets driven to distraction by it….but I’m slowing bringing her along. Just to make her happy on “Movie Night”, we usually watch one of my lil’ cinema gems… and then I let her pick one from the “pay per view” on our cable TV system. Gotta keep her happy…. 😉

  6. Now this one is a rather serious endeaver. I’ve been very curious to watch it, has it was directed by Takashi Miike. I guess he’s the one to thank for the scene with the peasant girl. You can always expect from his movies blood and guts or taboos. Nice review.

    • You can definitely see his influence in those “Deleted” scenes I mentioned as well…. A real pity most of those were pruned from the North American release.

  7. I enjoyed it very much on the second viewing. It’s made me adjust my opinion of Miike. The film somehow put me in mind of “the wild bunch” more than any other, even though I expected to see more similarities with “the 7 Samurai”.

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