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Showing posts from March, 2012

13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku)

Renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike brings us his own version of the samurai movie, and he does not disappoint! The story outline is simple enough: “A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.” This, of course, does not begin to describe the depth Miike takes us to in their quest to stop the sadistic Lord Naritsugu before he ascends to one of the highest positions in the country. Naturally, Takashi Miike is known for his graphically violent films, and it comes as no surprise that this one concludes with a forty minute final battle. However, there is much more to the movie than that; it is not a simple action flick. The overall point of the movie is really traditional bushido values verses freethinking and personal integrity. Both Hanbei (Lord Naritsugu’s body guard) and Shinzaemon (the head samurai of the thirteen assassins) follow the samurai way in an unwavering way. Neither of them forfeited their honor.  Though it seems that Shinzaemon i