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MOVIE REVIEWS: 47 RONIN

December 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s not a single positive review among the major newspaper critics for the Keanu Reeves epic 47 Ronin. As reported elsewhere, Comcast, which owns Universal, the studio that produced the movie, has been writing down the certain losses on this movie, which reportedly cost $175 million to produce but which will likely take in around 5 percent of that amount over the Christmas holiday. Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times writes that it’s “the kind of movie that comes riding into theaters on such a prolonged wave of bad buzz — changed release dates, backstage whispers of production troubles and a swelling budge — that the film itself starts to seem beside the point, something to just get out of the way.” There’s general agreement among the critics that the basic problem with the movie is that it’s — as Joe Neumaier puts it in the New York Daily News — just “monumentally dull.” Claudia Puig in USA Today uses the adjective “plodding” to describe it and remarks that “the whole thing seems more like a video game instead of a grand epic.” Her point is echoed by Sara Stewart in the New York Post who comments that the movie sometimes seems “like an Asian meditation on Super Mario.” Some critics apparently feel that the sole reason the movie was made was to court Asian audiences. But the Associated Press indicates that it has failed to captivate Japanese audiences. And David Rooney in the Hollywood Reporter comments that the film “may prove too Hollywood for Eastern audiences and too Asian to crack the American commercial mainstream.”