The Top 9 Things Wrong With the ’47 Ronin’ Trailer
Keanu Reeves channels his inner samurai in the upcoming film "47 Ronin." (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)
The trailer for "47 Ronin" has been released, and it's what the film itself has been reported to be for almost the past year: a misguided, derivative, very expensive mess.
The samurai epic marks Keanu Reeves' first big-budget genre film in eight years, following 2003's one-two punch of "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions," and 2005's so-so graphic novel adaptation, "Constantine."
While the prospect of seeing the man who was once The One starring in a fantastical adaptation of one of Japan's most famous samurai tales certainly sounds ... well, interesting, anyway, "47 Ronin" has unfortunately gained a reputation as a "troubled production." And one that cost a lot of money. There were rumors last fall that the film was almost $50 million over budget, though Universal — which has become even more cost-conscious following the financial disaster of last summer's "Battleship" — insists that it's been holding steady with its original $175 million price tag. However, even if the movie isn't technically breaking the bank, it's certainly suffering from some internal creative differences.
Watch the '47 Ronin' Theatrical Trailer:
First-time feature director Carl Rinsch, whose claim to fame is being the unofficial protege of "Alien" and "Blade Runner" maestro Ridley Scott, was pulled from the post-production process, according to The Wrap. The final product was apparently seen through by Universal's co-chairwoman, Donna Langley, and — if the trailer is any indication — seizing control from the perhaps too-inexperienced director didn't really help matters much.
"47 Ronin" tells the tale of a banished half-breed named Kai (Keanu Reeves) who teams up with a group of 47 leaderless samurai ('ronin') seeking vengeance against the evil warlord who killed their master, a quest that pits them against "mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors." The trailer more or less gets that across, though it also showcases a film that looks to have one heck of an identity crisis — and one that might be too hopelessly derivative of several stellar and even less-than-stellar genre movies.