Evil Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) wants to take over the provinces of feudal Japan, and he’ll do it dressed like a Power Rangers villain, while a shape-shifting witch (Rinko Kikuchi) does his bidding.
Kai (Keanu Reeves) is an orphaned half-demon man in love with his ruler’s daughter Mika (Ko Shibasaki). A series of events triggers his ruler’s suicide and the local Samurai being banished as the ever-disgraced Ronin.
Eventually the Ronin reunite to avenge their master’s death and rescue his daughter from Kira’s clutches. Keanu Reeves helps.
This film boasts beautifully realised landscapes, incredible set pieces and inspired art direction with surprisingly strong performances from most of the cast.
Arguably this film would benefit from its Japanese cast speaking in their native tongue, but Hollywood tells us we can’t handle listening to another culture. (TW)
BY TOM WILSON