Can 47 Ronin be the film that saves Reeves' career?
Finally, the second trailer for 47 Ronin has hit, meaning we can see more of Keanu Reeves in the martial arts epic. But this isn’t your classic, intricately choreographed martial arts flick; there are monsters and dragons in it, too.
Can Reeves haul in the huge audiences required to make Ronin a hit?
The legend of 47 Ronin reads thusly: 47 samurais without a leader (that’s what Ronin means) set out to avenge their death of the man who once led them. The film takes place in a fantasy version of ancient Japan, populated by mystical beasts, a power-hungry witch.
This isn’t the first film to give its take on the legend: The 47 Ronin (1941), The Loyal 47 Ronin (1958), 47 Samurai (1962), Fall of Ako Castle (1978), 47 Ronin (1994) and The Last Chusingura (2010) have all weighed in on the mystical story.
Reeves plays the part of an outcast, inexplicably Caucasian and American in this mystical Japan, who has to fulfil his destiny. One has the feeling this film could go one of two ways: be a surprise hit and put Reeves back on the map, or, and this is more likely, fail miserably, and possibly dump the Matrix actor on the pile of cardboard actors forever.
Back in April 2012, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the film had been delayed. It was supposed to be debuting last November, but was pushed back to February 2013. Now it’s set for a Christmas Day release day in America.
This is a bit of a risk; especially considering the reported price of putting the film together is something near the $225m mark. That’s in the Avatar range, but Avatar managed to become the highest grossing film of all time. Universal are really putting all of their eggs in a basket made out of Reeves, and hoping he won’t drop them a la Johnny Depp in Lone Ranger.
The Poster for 47 Ronin, with Keanu Reeves