The Daily Gazette
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Film review

Tale tweaks Japanese tradition, but doesn’t do enough to hold attention

Keanu Reeves, left, and Hiroyuki Sanada star in “47 Ronin.”
Photographer: Frank Connor/Universal Pictures
Keanu Reeves, left, and Hiroyuki Sanada star in “47 Ronin.”
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In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country’s national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. Despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed “47 Ronin” takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to the involvement of American actor Keanu Reeves: “bogus.” So far, Japanese audiences have been slow to embrace a ...

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