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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

‘47 Ronin’ mixes campy fun, hints of artistry

Don’t bother to compare director Carl Rinsch’s ludicrous remake with Kenji Mizoguchi’s majestic, Shakespearean, four-hour version of “The 47 Ronin” (1941-2). At best, the new film the puts in all the action Mizoguchi left out, and then some. But judged on its own terms as a corny, computer-generated-imagery cartoon, Rinsch’s feature-length debut makes for some campy fun.

It takes place, as a voice-over narrator tells us, in “ancient feudal Japan,” otherwise known as the 18th century during the shogunate. It is a world of magic, demons, and monsters like the huge multicolored, multi-eyed Jabberwocky hunted down by samurai at the beginning, or the creepy white fox reminiscent of the one that says “Chaos reigns!” in Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” (2009). The latter is in fact a shape-shifting witch (Rinko Kikuchi); a combination of Medusa and Lady Gaga, this sorceress has lured ambitious Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) into her wickedness.

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