So Keanu Reeves as a samurai is a thing now, and although it looks like the movie is walking the path left behind by Tom Cruise and The Last Samurai–mixed with a hint of live-action Princess Mononoke–clearly, the age of the 47 Ronin is almost upon us. After watching the trailer, I couldn’t help feel like I was watching Neo in another Matrix, this one designed around feudal Japan.I suppose Universal felt they needed to include a non-Asian actor in the lead in order to attract ticket-buyers, which is unfortunate.
The actual tale the movie is based on doesn’t seem to feature any Western characters saving the day.
With that in mind, perhaps the “Neo in a new Matrix” is the best way to take Keanu’s new movie, otherwise, you might be disappointed Universal deviated from the story so much. For those who don’t know what the story is about, the description should clarify things:
An 18th century set story centered on a band of samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master.
Or, you can watch this particular scene from the Robert DeNiro movie Ronin, which isn’t about samurai at all:
This westernized/Neo Returns version opens on Christmas Day.