I classify myself as a “fighter” – someone who automatically uses life’s obstacles as tools for growth instead of using them as reasons to give up on anything – maybe that’s the reason why Japanese action/martial arts/revenge flick 13 Assassins (2010) directed by Takashi Miike really, really, really impressed me.
This film goes HARD.
The story begins (kinda slowly I can admit…) with a samurai warrior who brings together a group of elite warrior assassins to take out the evil and sadistic Lord Naritsugu who rules over the kingdom with a bloody fist. The 13 assassins seek to ambush the Lord and his army on their way towards another town by diverting their course and then going in for the kill…
Since the release of his international breakthrough picture Audition in 1999, Director Miike has garnered a cult following in the West. His films are provocative, risque and sexually explicit and this picture is no different. I am not a big fan of violence just for violence’s sake (which is why I love revenge flicks in particular, because there is “purpose”) – but by the time we see Naritsugu graphically rape, mutilate and murder members of his own kingdom we are routing for the warriors.
The film ends with an approximately 36-minute fight scene with no music and please believe me when I say that if you see it, most of you won’t forget it. I don’t want to say that 13 Assassins is my favourite action film of all time…but the thought went through my head quite a bit.
Although most of the assassins are not padded out with much back-story – this film is real action – no frills, no holds barred – fighting ‘till the last breath, I’m gonna begin to wipe your hardened blood off my sword action.