So Bad It’s Good: 47 Ronin

Richard Steele 1 February 2014

I love watching bad movies. It’s like a poorly run school production. They forget their lines, someone’s doing a bad accent, and every now and again the lead soils himself on stage. You feel kind of bad for everyone involved, but you just can’t stop laughing. 47 Ronin is as if that group of students decided to put on a production of Coriolanus but set in feudal Japan with teleporting Voldemorts.

Given that there have been more film adaptions of this ancient Japanese story than betrayals in Game of Thrones you might have expected better. At least the budget for Sharknado was only $250,000. This atrocity somehow cost $175 million, though I imagine most of that was spent on whoever manages to make Keanu Reeves look so serious. The film was intended to have an air of authenticity, so they hired Japanese actors. Well, except for Keanu Reeves, who is a ‘half-breed’ yet inexplicably has an American accent. What would it have been like if they’d decided to ask him to do a Japanese accent? So why should you watch this film? For the villains with no obvious motivation? For the Japanese actors struggling through their English lines? Or for the ‘happy’ ending that totally jars with a Western audience? Well for all of the above, clearly.