Here's a fun quiz everyone can play.
What's worse? Watching 47 Ronin or Ronin 47 times?
Answers at the end.
Have you seen the trailer for this film? It looks jolly exciting, doesn't it? There's the bit where the green–dress wearing, cgi-witch transforms into a dragon, there's that other bit where Neo tells her he isn't scared of her and she says, 'you should be.' Ooh, ooh ooh! Then there's the bit where Silver Samurai from Wolverine 2 explodes! Then there's the clip where a castle explodes, a bit where the field of wheat explodes, and then there's that bit when another bit of a castle explodes too. Ooh, then there's the bit when it looks like Ted from Bill and Ted gets dragged from a hole in the ground. And then beaten with sticks. Then there's that exciting bit where a bald-headed, yellow-robed monk and Johnny Utah fight, and finally don't forget that fantastic bit where a skeleton tattooed villain with the two guns starts shooting - they use him in the poster adverts too, he looks AMAZING! - anyway, it all looks jolly wow! doesn't it? And you start thinking, 'Hey, this doesn't look as shit as it sounds!'
Well, hold on, oh traveller of the silver screen, looks can be deceiving.
So in a nutshell, Neo from Point Blank - meets Crouching Lizards, Leaping Lions in Feudal Japan where a, less than perfect, cgi, shape-shifting stoat teams up with a cackling, all-in-black baddy to usurp the shogun by marrying some old bloke's daughter, a flowery bint that professional log impersonator, Keanu Reeves has the chaste hots for. Keanu Reeves plays a californian surfer dude called Kia (after the car) who's trapped in Ancient Japan when his time machine breaks down while on a homework assignment to recruit Confucius to take part in his class project on history or something (it's never explained what he's doing there). Meanwhile some old bloke gets framed for a crime he didn't commit, his 46 Samurai get Ronined, his daughter gets betrothed against her will to the baddy and Keanu mopes about re-enacting the opening scene from Rambo 3 and complaining that everybody hates him and it's not fair.
Sounds like fun, right? It's not, really. there's no jokes, or silly antics just lots of non-smiling serious Japanese men and women, being serious and not smiling (unless they're the villain, then they can't help but smile, alot). There's lots of action, men on horses, men running, swords drawn, blah blah blah but sadly the whole thing is as dull as it is bloodless, even when they're committing Serpico. Not a single drop of claret gets spilled in this film, or when the heads of giants gets chopped off. So it's clear that none of the American film makers have ever seen Shogun Assassin!
You feel each and every minute of its 127 minutes running time.
And the answer to the question. Sorry it's a trick, they're both utterly shit for utterly different reasons.
Oh and the fantastic skeleton tattooed man appears in the film once, he says 'who are you?' and that's it.