"After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. This band of ronin must seek help from Kai (Keanu Reeves) – an enslaved half-breed they once rejected – in their ultimate fight for redemption in a savage world of mythic and wondrous terrors. Kai becomes their most deadly weapon and the heroic inspiration for these outnumbered warriors to confront their enemy and seize eternity." That's the official plot for director Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
While based on an actual part of Japanese history, 47 Ronin is by no means a true story. Instead, you could call it a historical fantasy based on a Japanese legend about the heroics of 47 samurai and what they did to regain their honor. This telling is purely fictional and only loosely based on the legend. Because of this some critics have complained about historical accuracy, but 47 Ronin isn't meant to be historically accurate, it's meant to be entertaining. And in my opinion, this movie is very entertaining with Keanu Reeves giving a great performance. There's action, suspense, love, tragedy along with fantasy elements like magic, witches, mythical beasts, and superhuman powers that converge into a great movie that will keep you interested throughout.
Regarding the technical aspects, 47 Ronin provides the usual 1080p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The visuals are excellent with vibrant colors and detailed backgrounds. The high-definition shows off the great sets, lavish costumes, and exciting action scenes. For audio, the Blu-ray provides English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS Digital Surround 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0. The voice work is excellent with all the dialogue being clean and clear. The foley and soundtrack use surround to great effect and really add to visually detailed experience.
Since I reviewed the regular Blu-ray, DVD, Digital combo pack, I don't know what additional extras are provided on the 3D edition, but on this disc we get all of the following bonus features in HD:
* Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:42) – There are four deleted scenes, but they don't really add anything to the story, so you're not missing anything if you skip them.
* Re-Forging the Legend (HD, 6:44) – this is a behind-the-scenes look at how the filmmakers interpreted the original Japanese story and added their fictional elements.
* Keanu & Kai (HD, 4:00) – this is a short featurette on how Keanu Reeves took on the roll of Kai in the movie.
* Steel Fury: The Fights of 47 Ronin (HD, 5:54) – a behind-the-scenes look at how the fight scenes were created for the movie.
* Myths, Magic & Monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin (HD, 7:35) – a behind-the-scenes look at how the fantasic FX were created for the movie.
If you're looking for a historical reenactment of the Japanese legend, then 47 Ronin is not for you. But if you're looking to be entertained and you enjoy fiction, fantasy, and samurai action, 47 Ronin will give you that and more. Keanu Reeves does a great job as the lead and the story (mixed with the excellent visuals, audio, and effects) make for an engaging experience.
For more information, visit 47RoninMovie.com.