Ok, next up is the incredibly bloody "13 Assassins," the latest from the prolific Japanese cult director Takashi Miike. It's a remake of a 1963 film of the same name. A group of samurai comes together to kill a particularly evil and sadistic lord to keep him from ascending to the throne. Taking him out is the right thing to do -- and it keeps them from being obsolete. For now.
CLIP 1 -- Sitting around preparing for the fight
Like many a classic Western -- or like a Japanese version of "Ocean's 11," if you will -- "13 Assassins" features the always-amusing process of rounding up a motley crew for this dangerous task. But when it comes time to put their plan into action, they fight as one.
CLIP 3 -- (If it's not too terribly bloody. If not, clip 2, just before the big battle, would work.)
You could argue that Miike is celebrating the same kind of violence that he condemns in his villains -- but when the good guys are the ones wielding their swords, it's OK ... right? Anyway, thumbs up from me.
Look, I kind of love this movie.
I mean to me, Miike is just one of the…he’s one of the greatest directors in the world. He’s maybe the only person who is completely at home making you know really slow art house films and just is at home making over the top action movies. It’s really interesting to see him make something so, you can almost say simple and schematic because the movie essentially consists of 2 halves. You have this hour long build up which is great, it moves really, really fast. We meet every single character. It’s established why exactly they have to kill this guy.
They’re all well fleshed out.
Yeah and you know it just keeps moving, and moving, and moving and people are constantly talking. It never pauses and then for the next; for the second hour there’s this battle scene that takes up you know the entire second half of the film where you see you know these 13 guys fight 200 people, but it also continues building on the characters at the same pace as it had in the first hour. We’re still kind of figuring things out about them even though they’re fighting throughout the entire second half of the movie.
And one thing I enjoyed too, is it’s a surprise for us like it is for all these evil guards what the attack’s going to be like because unlike a lot of heist movies where you see them plan the heist and then you see them go into action. You aren’t really quite sure what this ambush is going to be. When the pieces all fall into place, it’s like “Ahh, that was cool, that was clever.”
The burning bulls! The burning bulls running through the street.