Film Reviews, Short Review

十三人の刺客 [13 Assassins] (2010)

3.5/4

13 Assassins might not have the thematic complexity or absurdity of some of Takashi Miike’s most famous works such as Audition and GOZU, but it is easily one of his most accomplished and fluid films. The first half of the film is mostly set-up – an evil warlord is destroying Japan with his brutality, so a group of samurai gang up and plot to kill him – and we are taken through the battle plan step-by-step. But none of this really matters. The last hour or so is all one huge battle, with the 13 samurai facing off against an army 200 strong. And oh boy is it badass! The editing and Miike’s control over the action means we are never at any point lost in the battle, and it’s always clear who is fighting who. Put simply, this is one of the best pieces of action cinema of the last decade or so.

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