13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku)
You won't find action better than this as 13 Samurai face off against 200 in this ripping tale of good versus evil.
Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira is the young and cruel Caligula-like half brother of the Shogun, making his way quickly to the top. Famed Samurai Shinzaemon Shimada (Kôji Yakusho) is summoned by dissenting clan ranks to intercede, and sets about assembling a group of Ronin to confront the Naritsugu menace head-on.
Much like Kurosawa's Seven Samurai
, the warriors decide to ambush what they believe will be 70 of Naritsugu's army in a small village. What transpires though is not what they expect, resulting in an epic and thundering 45-minute action sequence that demands to be seen to be believed.
Takashi doesn't forget the humour though as the Samurai expose their own frailties but remain bound by honour and bravery.
Choreographed and costumed to perfection the pitch is so frenetic and the scale so big, you'll be reaching for the sake to steady your nerves well after the credits roll.
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