Review: 13 Assassins

This is a two hour samurai movie directed by Takashi Miike. That would normally be enough information for most people who like this type of film to pick this movie. Miike does not take his audience for granted and gives us a entertaining characters, beautiful sets and costumes, lush exteriors and a decent motive for the massively bloody and violent last act.
Kôji Yakusho has the perfect demeanor for the old master recruiting a group of samurai to take out a corrupt leader. He is charismatic and strong, and yet while we know his character does long for the days of battle we do not see that he takes the matter of taking a life lightly. What I love about his performance here-much like his turn as the depressed accountant in Shall We Dance-is the way he can watch others and use his face and reactions to set the emotional tone for the audience.
If you don’t care about performance or story just watch the last 45 minutes for the awesome fiery and bloody showdown. And remember if you lose your sword, use a stick. If you lose your stick, use a rock. Or you can blow stuff up.

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This is not an official TIFF site. If it was I would not have to wait in so many lineups with my festival knapsack full of water, snacks, sunscreen and other supplies.


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