What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 13 Assassins is an incredibly violent samurai action movie, from the maverick Japanese cult director Takashi Miike, who is known for some of the most intense movies of the past ten years (including Audition). The final 45 minutes of the movie is a bloody, sustained battle sequence that literally includes rivers of blood, spraying and spurting blood, and hundreds of dead bodies. Weapons used include swords, bows and arrows, fire, and bombs. Rape, the murder of women and children, and the act of hara-kiri are all portrayed off-screen. Most disturbingly, we see one of the villain's victims: a naked woman whose arms, legs, and tongue have been cut off. Additionally, there's some sexual innuendo and some sake drinking. This review applies to the American theatrical release and the DVD/Blu-Ray release, which runs 126 minutes. The original Japanese version, which is not yet officially available in the U.S., runs 141 minutes.
- Families can talk about the movie's bloody violence. How does it affect you? Is it thrilling? Disgusting? Boring? What effect do you think the director was trying to achieve?
- Is revenge a good motive in this movie? Does the sheer evilness of the villain justify the heroes' acts?
- Are the samurai in this movie good role models? Why or why not?