MARTIAL ARTS

‘47 Ronin’ a losing martial arts battle | 1 star

Updated: 2013-12-23T23:14:49Z

Rated PG-13 | Time: 1:58

Carl Rinsch makes his directorial debut with this martial-arts adventure about a warrior (Keanu Reeves) who helps a group of 47 samurai avenge the murder of their leader. The film wasn’t screened in advance in the U.S., but overseas, where the film opened earlier this month, most critics have not been kind:

•  David Ehrlich, Film.com: “An insufferably boring, culturally hegemonic, and profoundly ugly pastiche of action adventure, the only conceivable value of this film is in how it exposes the cynicism and backwards thinking that has made Hollywood vulnerable to failures of this magnitude.”

•  Kenji Fujishima, slantmagazine.com: “Could have been a landmark of sorts in the advancement of Asian actors in the Hollywood mainstream beyond token and sidekick roles, but when the material they’re given is as third-rate and lifeless as this, such gestures toward progress can’t help but seem hollow at best.”

| Sharon Hoffmann, shoffmann@kcstar.com

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