Y’all like blood? How ‘bout revenge? Oh, and what’s that now: hour-long fight scenes are your weak spot? Well step right up folks, 13 Assassins is here to please.
13 Assassins is about 12 samurais, and a 13th dude who kills people with rocks, a la David and Goliath. There is plenty of anticipatory build-up (A shamed family! A girl with no limbs! Or tongue!), coupled with a wide lens that made me feel like I was in an iMax theater. 13 Assassins had me hooked in the first 20 minutes. But what kept me in my seat for the next 120 minutes (yes, it’s 140 minutes long) was care to the individual characters, personal vendettas, and the aforementioned hour-long fight scene to end the movie.
As a warning, the first 20 minutes are almost unwatchable due to the gore, but stick it out. And it’s a film for a specific audience only, mainly the type of people who ask, in a crowded theater, “Does this 141 minute runtime include the 14-minute bordello scene from the original Japanese print?” That dude was wearing a red beret all night, though, so unless he was going to a screening of Rushmore later, I think we can all just agree he might have been a little bonkers.