I'd only heard faint whispers of 47 Ronin before its trailer dropped late last month. After years of development hell, it is finally seeing the light of day this Christmas. This is a mythical/mystical adaptation of the classic Japanese tale about a group of samurai who set out to slay the shogun responsible for their master's death. While I would have much preferred a realistic vision (say something akin to 13 Assassins) my inner fantasy-phile will not resist this version. For a certain reason (to sell this film to Western audiences) Keanu Reeves finds himself in the midst of the samurai. Comparisons to Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai come to mind (but when you understand who that film's title is referring to and the involvement of an American it makes absolute sense). This falls more along the lines of a Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame and the recent Jet Li vehicle, The Sorcerer and the White Snake. Yes, those are both Chinese stalks in the Oriental fantasy forest, but the extraordinary action feels similar. I'm referencing all these films I genuinely like and so I am eager to sit before 47 Ronin this holiday season, if nothing else to experience the train-wreck. There's much more to comment on, from it's all-star Japanese cast (Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Togo Igawa - seriously, it's like a Japanese Oceans film all up in here) to the reported firing of first-time feature director Carl Rinsch (which saddens me to no end), but this will have to suffice for now.