As a historical revision depicting one of Japan’s more notable legends, I’m not waiting on Carl Rinsch’s 47 Ronin to break down walls. But as a glammed-up, on-the-nose, monster-filled CGI fun fest, it looks like it can’t fail. My biggest complaint with most movie trailers is their inability to tease out a film’s narrative without plainly explaining the entire story. That’s not the case with 47 Ronin, which chooses to unleash a supernatural army of villainous baddies while only laying out the bare bones of the story Keanu Reeves’ character Kai will be a part of. And Kai, like some of Reeves’ other characters, is definitely "the one" who can save everyone from everything.

This is precisely the kind of film that I end up either loving or hating, without any middle ground to be found. Will it be like the testosterone-soaked slow motion machismo of Zack Snyder’s 300, or the completely uneven monstrosity that was Stephen Sommers’ Van Helsing? I know my answer fell towards the latter before the film’s first trailer came out a few months ago, but after seeing the above trailer, via Yahoo! Movies, I’m finding my acceptance for this flick is growing.

47 Ronin (and a little Neo) is loosely based on the real life Ronin in the 1700s who enacted a ridiculously well-planned assassination of a Lord who murdered their master. The screenplay from Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini introduced the half-British, half-Japanese slave Kai, as well as all of the ghosts, dragon-folk, giants, goblins, witches and every other non-Japanese warrior seen in the previews. The film balances this bastardization of history by using actual Japanese actors and actresses, such as Tadanobu Asano as the targeted Lord Kira, Hiroyuki Sanada as the leader of the Ronin, Kou Shibasaki as the dead master’s daughter and Kai’s eventual love interest, and Rinko Kikuchi as Lord Kira’s lady servant.

While the adult in me was more interested to see Reeves in the martial arts-minded Man of Tai Chi, the 9-year-old inner child cannot wait to see Reeves fighting stone-wielding ogres and giant dragons, so long as I don’t have to listen to him explaining anything. Plus, all those awesome locations. And fire. FIRE!

If all you want for Christmas is 47 Ronin, its December 25 release date is just for you. Below you can watch the film’s less effective first trailer.

47 ronin poster

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