Another attempt at Hollywood to remake a Japanese classic that ultimately disappoints. First time director, Carl Rinsch fails to give this dour film any real life or punch. The story is a true classic that deserves a big budget action filled adventure but the budget here must have gone to Keanu Reeves's salary.
Mr. Reeves is the "name" draw for American audiences but the real star of the film is Japanese actor, Hiroyuki Sanada who plays Oishi, the disgraced Samurai out for revenge against the man who murdered his lord. Mr. Reeves gets most of the high profile fighting scenes but it is Mr. Sanada who is the heart and soul of the film (and he gets his share of fights as well).
The CGI effects are effective but underwhelming as are the action sequences themselves. A poster for the film depicts a port city in flames, when in actuality, one dock burns. Another character who looks promising on the same poster has about five seconds of actual screen time. The battles scenes are fun but not the spectacle you would expect. It's possible a better film ended up on the cutting room floor but this end result would honor the audience best by committing Seppuku.