13 Assassins

Rated R 126 minutes 2010

The climactic 45-minute battle sequence is a bloody whopper, but there’s more to Takashi Miike’s remake of the 1963 samurai mini-epic of the same name than just graphic carnage. The cast is superb, headed by actor Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?), playing against type as a ferociously loyal samurai dispatched to trap a depraved official of the shogunate (hissable Gorô Inagaki) and his men in a village en route to Edo. Of course Miike doesn’t skimp on the stomach-turning grotesqueries — they’re what made him famous, although this rousing adventure is further evidence that the prolific, genre-sampling Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer, Sukiyaki Western Django) yearns to make classical, character-filled epics in the Akira Kurosawa mold. Also swinging swords: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Hiroki Matsukata, and Yûsuke Iseya as Koyata the holy fool. Recommended.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.13assassins.com

Director: Takashi Miike

Producer: Toshiaki Nakazawa, Jeremy Thomas, Takashi Hirajô, Minami Ichikawa, Tôichirô Shiraishi and Michihiko Yanagisawa

Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Mikijiro Hira, Hiroki Matsukata, Ikki Sawamura, Arata Furuta, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Sosuke Takaoka, Masachika Ichimura and Masataka Kubota

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13 Assassins

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