|Source of story
||A traditional Japanese folk tale.
||Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
||Story by Chris Morgan and Walter Hamadi. The making of this movie is something of a saga itself. The studio execs wanted Keanu Reeves to have more screen time, and the love interest and so there were reshoots and re-editing, after the director was sacked.
||Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rinko Kikuchi and a lot of japanese actors.
||In a fantasy version of ancient Japan a tribal chief is bewitched into attacking a fellow lord and as a result is condemned to commiting seppuku by the Shogun. His samurai, together with a half-breed he had adopted, become “ronin” surviving as outlaws until their leader is released from captivity. They decide to take revenge even though their deaths could result.
||Quite a number of set pieces involving sword fights on a variety of scales. Involvement of a witch who is capable of moving from place to place as a convoluted cloth and turning into a dragon. Large scale presentations of Japanese warriors in traditional and colourful dress. Characters look longingly at each other quite a bit.
||I can’t imagine how the makers expected the Japanese to like a film which subverted a traditional and much respected tale. But not only did the Japanese not like it, no-one else did either, so it lost a fortune. The design is pretty good, and apparently the various factions in medieval Japan actually did wear colourful armour, so almost worth a watch for nothing.