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13 Assassins

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Usuya
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Studio: Alliance Films
  • Release Date: Sept. 13 2011
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0057GUG6U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,902 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

It stands to reason that there must be something pretty dastardly about the target of the assassination plot that makes up Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins; after all, an enormous amount of energy and planning goes into this effort. And hoo boy, have we got a dastardly villain for you: Japanese feudal lord Naritsugu (Goro Inagaki), the demented half-brother of the emperor. His taste for perversity results in a few early scenes that will test the gag reflex of unprepared viewers (and let fans of Miike know that the director of Audition still has his gonzo streak, even if the rest of the movie is conventional by his standards). Court councilors agree that somebody needs to take Naritsugu out, lest this madman actually ascend to power; thus a veteran samurai (Koji Yakusho, the charismatic star of Shall We Dance and Cure) is charged with assembling a team that can eliminate him. The movie spends some time on the (always sure-fire) method of picking the expert samurai who will join the mission, and then plunges headlong into an epic battle sequence. 13 Assassins delivers on the spectacle, as Naritsugu has 200 soldiers at his side, so the destruction of an entire small town is called for in the final throwdown. Miike is an adept field marshal, and the movie has plenty of crazy-go-nuts moments (as well as a couple of borderline-mystical puzzlers), but he also takes the time to explore the delicacies of the samurai code: in particular, Naritsugu's chief of security (Masachika Ichimura) is as disgusted with his boss as anybody else, but must live according to the oath he swore when he took the job--an exquisite sort of self-debasement. In short, action connoisseurs will find little to fault in this big-scale samurai epic. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Some other reviewers have pointed out the similarities between this film, by envelope-pushing (and occasionally stomach-churning) director Takashi Miike, and legendary Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai". Indeed, both films tell the story of a group of honourable warriors who take up their swords against an evil force. That being said, there are a few differences.

In "Seven Samurai", the titular characters defend a helpless village against a band of marauding bandits (clearly criminals by anyone's standards). In "13 Assassins", a crack team of swordsmen is assembled to take down the Shogun's sadistic half-brother, whose continued existence threatens to destabilize the hard-earned peace of the nation (although he's not, officially, a criminal). Where "Seven Samurai" elaborates a bit more on the motivations of the protagonists, as well as how they earn the trust of the villagers they agree to protect, "13 Assassins" instead focuses on how the team is built up and how they justify dishonouring themselves by daring to challenge the authority of the Shogun's half-brother, who is a powerful, albeit reprehensible, man commanding of respect and deference.

Then there's the unrelenting, all-out fracas and blood-soaked climax and conclusion of "13 Assassins", which is in contrast to the bit-by-bit, guerilla-warfare style battle fought by the "Seven Samurai".

Has this story been told before? In a general way, perhaps. Nonetheless, Miike lends his uncompromising style to it, but thankfully not to the extent of his more cringe-worthy films. I have to say, the sword-fighting isn't spectacular. The acting is convincing, though, and the plot, themes, and messages don't go over one's head.
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Another excellent movie to add to Miike legendary line-up, not his absolute best of course but a must own for every samurai fans. the whole story of a group of rogue samurai who choose to make a spoiled - bored and cruel shogun's brother pay for his deeds and save the fragile peace of their land unfolds in classic Miike fashion, so once one of the protagonist dies the switch from hope to desperation is masterfully depicted and the awe inspiring end scene that lasts an amazing 55 minutes (basically half of the movie) shows each samurai or <ally> (you will understand when you see) giving their whole being to achieve their mission against impossible odds. The cinematography and photography are breathtaking by moment and the actors are solid, you really feel for them and want them to succeed. I was so into the movie that it was like I could feel each stab they received. As mentioned by Miike in his interview it is not an action movie but a drama and you can clearly say that it is true in a sense after watching the whole movie and if you compare it to the classics samurai action flicks like lone wolf and cub for example. So bottom-line, a must watch for fans of the genre but definitely not for everyone, some scene are made to disgust you in classic Miike fashion, you have been warned.
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Very good samurai movie with a good story and a lot of action. The final fight is incredibly good. I stongly recommend it if you like samurai movies.
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Movies like this do not grow on trees. This is easily comparable to the Seven Samurai only with better film credits. That was the one disadvantage of the Seven Samurai was that it was filmed in black and white.
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If this had a hollywood budget, this would be a complete masterpiece!
Indie movies like this, really show the vision and mind of a director to tell a brilliant story historically based in a rich culture.
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If you like classic samurai, plus modern action, this is a great combination of the two. Love this movie!!
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Not a classic but certainly of the best samurai movie in recent years.
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Superb remake of a classic. Beautiful cinematography and costumes.
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