King Leonidas didn't know how lucky he was when he had a whole 300 Spartans with whom to fight Xerxes' army of 300,000. In Carl Rinsch's upcoming fantasy action movie 47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves has to go up against an apparently infinite army, a shape-shifting witch, and some sinister magic - with the aid of less than four dozen samurai.
It certainly looks like a daunting task in the latest international trailer for 47 Ronin, which establishes a little more of the film's plot and also offers a look at the monsters that the 47 warriors have to overcome. Reeves is the only American actor in a leading role, but 47 Ronin also has some pretty major Japanese stars like Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim). Heavily tattooed model Rick "Zombie Boy" Genest also stars in 47 Ronin as a villain simply called "Savage" and was featured on one of the posters wielding an 18th century gun.
What with all the magical clothing fabric and crazy fantasy monsters, it's currently unclear how closely 47 Ronin will be modelled on the original true story. Though heavily romanticized and changed over the years, the 47 ronin really did exist in 18th century Japan, and were a band of warriors who broke into the mansion of the man responsible for their former leader's death - in order to take revenge. We're fairly certain that there weren't any women shapeshifting into dragons in the historical version, but since camera phones hadn't yet been invented there's no way to know for sure.
47 Ronin looks like it has some great visuals to go with a classic revenge story about a group of underdogs taking on impossible odds. The merits of going all-out fantasy with the story is debatable, but it's certainly opened the door for some epic imagery and could be an interesting and fresh interpretation of the source material.
Despite looking like a decent watch, 47 Ronin might well struggle to make a profit at the box office since the budget reportedly swelled from $175 million to $225 million during production, meaning that the movie needs to do at least as well as this year's big budget action film Pacific Rim in order to break even. There were also many rumors of difficulties during filming and of Universal needing to step in and take over the editing process. 47 Ronin was originally slated for release in November 2012, but has since been delayed and is now set to release in the 2013 holiday season.
Do you think that Reeves will end up stealing all the scenes of 47 Ronin, or will its strengths lie in the ensemble performance? Let us know what you think of this latest trailer in the comments.
47 Ronin arrives in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2013.