Hollywood never ceases to amaze me, in just the period of one month they have been able to rip apart two (possibly three once I see Walter Mitty) classic stories and turn them into over-produced, over-budgeted, and over-bloated atrocious blockbusters. However, while the Hobbit could have been redeemable with a long and extensive cut, the only way to redeem the story of 47 Ronin in film form would be to trash this cinematic disaster entirely. While setting a new standard of wooden acting, 47 Ronin tarnishes Japanese culture by turning it into another churn in the rusty old milking machine.
Let me get the cat out of the bag right now, yes 47 Ronin was most definitely one of the worst films of the year. From the very opening of the movie you can already see the green-screen, the narration is already cliche and boring, and surprise, surprise it takes itself way to seriously for how badly it was written. The script assumes automatically that you'll care for the characters because the little asian girl kisses the white boy on the cheek to show acceptance or something, but all it does is make you want to check your watch five minutes into the movie (Yes, I was bored of it by the five minute mark, and there were still two hours left to go, huzzah!).
Maybe the boredom wouldn't have come so early if the acting hadn't been as terrible as it was, because honestly when you know the actors don't care about the story they're telling why are you supposed to care? I'll be honest here, by the way they spoke their lines, I did not think the Japanese actors (95% of the actors besides Keanu Reeves, surprise the only white man in the movie is the main character) knew any English at all. The way each and every one of them said their lines was as if I had put the words in google translate and let it read it for them, wait I take that back, google translate would have spoke with more emotion than any of the actors in the movie (especially Keanu Reeves who, even though he actually knows English, somehow manages to out-do the actors who don't even have a clue what they're saying in wooden acting 101). There was one redeeming actor in the movie, and I wouldn't even say redeeming he just manages to be less dull than the rest, who manages to bring two slight chuckles in a lifeless film, thank you fat Japanese man of which I do not know your name for being a very (very) dim candle in an extraordinarily dull movie.
Ps: There's a love story in here, and this is one of the rare cases that it was NOT a better love story than Twilight.
My next major problem with 47 Ronin is how horribly it manages to screw up the story of the 47 Ronin and Japanese culture, the original story was not fantasy or even fictional, this one most definitely is. By turning it into a fictional story is like if you took the life of Abraham Lincoln and devoted it to him hunting vampires, oh wait somebody already did that, AND IT SUCKED. Also, this story takes place during the 18th century before Matthew Perry came in and forced the borders of Japan open, before this Japan was completely isolationist under the Tokugawa Shonugate and had no gun powder (the movie even alludes to this historical fact in the cheesy intro) and yet, HALFWAY THROUGH THE MOVIE YOU SEE TWO EUROPEAN MERCHANT SHIPS THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE AND THERE ARE GUNS. There were no guns in the story of the 47 Ronin, there were no demons, no witches, it was a real historical revenge story that could have been great, yet they turn it into an abomination nearly equivalent to Zach Snyder's 300 (though not as offensive).
Now even if you just wanted a film with some stupid CGI action, you don't even get this, because it is filled with characters talking but never developing, scenes that are intended to be suspenseful but are ultimately utterly boring on the level of the Dungeons and Dragons movie. For the action that is in this 'grand, epic action fantasy' it is boring, there is no thrill in it because you have absolutely no care or interest in the characters in any form whatsoever. It also kind of hurts the movie when the CGI parts of the movie are so completely fake and outrageous looking that is literally is only laughable (yet you are already to bored out of your mind to even chuckle, you just groan).
47 Ronin is the definition of bad filmmaking, it is completely clunky, tedious, and the acting is at a level where you have no care for the story, and at times don't even understand the story because the actors telling it don't. It butchers Japanese culture and history and turns it into a white man hero fest, and has absolutely no care for the story it's telling. The film has no care at all for making an even entertaining story and then for some reason expects the audience to care about the 'tragic' ending. 47 Ronin isn't even bad, it's just pathetic and sad.
0.5/10 Sticks of Bamboo