Pause for kids 13 & under
Lifeless take on classic tale with bloodless martial arts.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 47 Ronin is based on a famous Japanese story about an event that took place in the 18th century and though the violence is largely bloodless, there are swordfights with mixed martial arts and two beheadings. Characters are pierced with arrows and appear to die. Characters commit ritual suicide. We also see some fantasy violence, such as witchcraft and monsters. Sex is not an issue, but the main male and female characters are shown to be in love, though they barely touch. Some concubines, who wear heavy makeup and serve men, are part of the story.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it exciting or gruesome? How does it leave you feeling? Does visible blood make the violence feel more realistic? How much blood would really be shed during violence like we see on the screen?
- How do you feel about the idea of a white main character and a white director telling this story? Are non-Japanese allowed to tell a Japanese story? How can different cultures positively represent one another in movies?
- Is the "jolly fat man" character a stereotype? What is his purpose in the movie?
The good stuff
Messages: Though the movie claims to be about honor and loyalty, it seems to be more about revenge, and treating others as inferior or undesirable. There might have been some teamwork here if the movie had been better made, but few of these characters are barely even identified. Additionally, some could be offended that this classically Japanese story has been presented in English, with a Western director and a Western star. Its only humorous moments include a stereotypical "jolly fat man" character.
Role models: The characters are skilled warriors, though their cause is mostly revenge -- in addition to rescuing a woman in peril. There's no real teamwork or honor, and they pay the ultimate price for their efforts.
What to watch for
Violence: There's almost no blood in these sword battles; the greatest amount of blood is shown when characters mark their bloody thumbprints next to their names on a scroll. Two characters are beheaded, with no blood shown. Several minor characters are pierced with arrows and appear to die. There are plenty of sword battles, with some mixed martial arts thrown in (kicking, etc.). Characters commit ritual suicide. There's some other fantasy violence by witchcraft as well as monsters. The main character is beaten with clubs, and his cuts and bruises are briefly shown. A man catches on fire.
Sex: Two characters are shown to be in love, but they never kiss or touch, except when the woman gently tends to the man's wound. Concubines with heavy makeup are shown; these are women that serve men but have less status than a wife. No sex is mentioned, but could be vaguely implied.
Language: Not applicable
Consumerism: Not applicable
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable
Fan Reviews provided by
47 RONIN by jennkoehn
This is a great movie!! We didn't know what to expect.
It is filled with history, action, love and honor.
It is quite a ride and you will come out saying "WOW"!!
I recommend anyone go see this. It was very enjoyable.
A great lazy weekend movie by BMovieBuffB
I went in to this movie with no expectations. Having lived in Japan for two years, and having studied the Tokugawa era in college, I had a background in the history and the folklore of the time. Having been told that this film would not offend my historical sensibilities, I went in for the pretty (namely Rinko Kikuchi).
You know, Keanu Reeves was completely unnecessary, but I liked that they made this story, which is based on a true tale, more of a fantasy. To go through and explain the political climate of the time could have been tedious and boring, so the fairy tale elements were good for me. The film starts off a bit slow as it sets up the storyline, and the battles are never high-energy explosive, but things moved at a steady pace. Many characters were a bit one-dimensional, but their parts were well acted. It's perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon movie, and I would definitely see it again.
Not bad for a round eye ninja named Keanu by kmoney51
I saw this is a dumpy, old-school theatre complete with uncomfortable chairs and a small tear in the screen. That being said, I have no idea how great the graphics/effects may have been. It was a little slow going at first but the story was well played and Keanu was, well, pretty much the same Keanu you know from the 80's. The fight scenes were legit, and there was even an asian girl who was able to use chopsticks with her hair! The ending seemed a little strange but it didn't ruin the rest of the movie. If you are thinking this is going to be like Kill-BIll, look out because this is anything but. Not the worst movie you can see but certainly not the greatest
Really well done by Hamstar
The critics who gave this movie crap are smoking crack. This movie was very well done! A fantastic story, well played roles, very striking visuals. I enjoyed it very much.
47 RONIN rocked by jannluca
Great visual, great action, great music, great acting, great love story, great special effects, it's fun and moves from the beginning to the end. If you like action and a beautiful film you love it.
entertaining but not great by tberry81
It was a good movie but I found my self yawning in the middle. The fight scenes were well done. I also enjoyed the makeup effects and special effects. If you have extra cash.. a good movie to go see other wise wait for video.
Great story, decent acting by therjnel
Definitely not a show you should take the kids too. I'd hesitate to take either of my older kids (12 & 13)
Consistent with many Japanese stories, the ending isn't a happily ever after, so if that doesn't bother you.
The story is well told. The acting isn't necessarily bad, though it works because of the stoic nature that samurai are often expected to put forth. All in all, I enjoyed the show and effects.
Enjoyed it very much! by jnyneal
Altho the setting looked more chinese than japanese, I liked that many of the characters were portrayed by real japanese actors. Grant it Keanu is Chinese Hawaiian, but he looks happa enuf to fit the 'half breed' character of course. I saw the original b&w japanese language version decades ago and this is certainly more digitally enhanced with special visual effects to boot! Nonetheless, entertaining all the same. My husband is a black belt martial artist and he enjoyed it even more than I did! Of course, I luv anything Keanu does! Glad we saw it @ the movie theatre and not on netflix.
47 RONIN SUCKS 47 TIMES OVER by DR PHILGOOD
THIS HAS TO BE THE MOST ABSOLUTE WORST FILM I'VE EVER SEEN - THEY SHOULD PAY PEOPLE TO GO & WATCH THIS CRAP - KEANU REEVES PERFORMANCE WAS HORRIBLE - HE SHOULD GIVE UP ACTING AS A CAREER & MAYBE HE'LL GET LUCKY & QUALIFY FOR THE OBAMA PHONE & HEALTH CARE - DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED $$$ ON THIS SUCK BOTTOM FILM
47 Ronin.. practicly tasted the blood & felt the breeze from green drangon wings. by jwahadaisolomon
Best movie i have seen in years. Speccial effects, fantastic..acting, so real was entralled. Too bad i had to see it on a blackmarket bootleg copy because no theater anywhere near me (i live in Maine), was showing it. Honestly thinking about taking 2 days and driving to Mass. just to see it in the theater though. :)