If you want action, Takashi Mike can deliver!  I just finished 13 ASSASSINS and I have to say:  it is one of THE BEST Samurai movies of all time, hands down.  This is a bold statement to make, I know...but this film delivers on every level imaginable and leaves you wanting nothing more, except maybe something to calm your nerves as the credits roll.

 

If you are not familiar with 13 ASSASSINS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of  Magnet Releasing:

Cult director Takashi Mike delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan’s feudal era.  13 ASSASSINS is centered around a group of elite samurai who are secretly enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord in order to prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war torn future.

This film is an action blockbuster and the 45-minute long battle scene at the end of the movie proves it.  You might say to yourself “Wow...45 minutes is a long time to draw out a battle”; but worry not, my friends, because these scenes are so intense, you won’t even realize the time has gone by!

 

Speaking of the battle scenes, the fighting throughout the entire film is top notch.  There’s plenty of swordplay and martial arts action to satiate even the most hardcore of action fans.  And, believe it or not, the action isn’t full of over-the-top wire-work, either.  Don’t get me wrong:  I love that type of fighting, too...but the fight scenes in 13 ASSASSINS struck me as more realistic.

 

Visually, the film is beautiful; the cinematography does an amazing job of highlighting the natural beauty of the countryside in which it was shot.  This was bolstered by the HD transfer for the Blu-ray, which is definitely something to behold.  I highly recommend this movie in HD, for both the picture quality and the digital sound.

 

The acting in 13 ASSASSINS is very good as well.  The entire cast is enjoyable to watch and are very believable in their roles.  There’s so much anguish in the film, not just from the battles, but from the inner conflict among the Samurai; each character is flawed in one way or the other, which gives much more likability.

 

13 ASSASSINS is a major win for me and it’s a must-have for martial arts fans.  But don’t just buy or rent this film for the action; there is so much more to it than that.  Check it out for sure, and do so on Blu-ray.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Score:  5/5