13 Assassins (Takashi Miike – 2010) A

From Wikipedia about Harakiri:

“…is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment…. The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion.”

Argh! That must hurt like crazy and that’s how 13 Assassins opens, in the age of the Samurai and with a deliberate act of Harakiri complete with sickening guttural sounds and a pool of blood. This sets the mood and the tone for this no holds barred Samurai action film. Oh and we get another Harakiri later in the film too. It’s about 13 Samurai recruited to rid the realm of an especially evil and sick lord who due to politics cannot just be removed. The problem is said lord has a few hundred Samurai of his own who, evil or not, are willing to fight and die for him. The film is brilliantly executed and culminates with a phenomenal long (as in 30 – 40 minutes) epic battle between the 13 and the hundreds of Samurai. This was no CGI battle either, but a perfectly choreographed piece of work with archers, sword fights, explosions and hand to hand brutal combat. This is a crazy and amazing movie that is very much worth the time to watch a few times.

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