Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bunraku (2011)

Guns are outlawed after a global war almost destroys planet Earth, but some people still make the choice to fight, they just use knives and fists as their weapons. Nicola, The Woodcutter (Ron Perlman) is the feared and powerful crime boss, who rules everything east of the Atlantic. Nicola’s reign of terror seems unstoppable at first, but two silent and deadly strangers change everything. The Drifter (Josh Hartnett) and the samurai, Yoshi (Gackt) slowly make some moves, and they soon form an unlikely bond. They don’t trust each other at first, but they do share a few common goals: both men want revenge, and they want to kill Nicola and his entire gang.

I actually had some high hopes for Bunraku, but this film was a major disappointment for me. Bunraku does feature some impressive visuals, but this film can feel so dull most of the time. Bunraku does feature its fair share of flashy fight scenes and beat downs, but this film really doesn’t provide any excitement. Some of the stylish fight scenes are fun to watch at first, but the large gang fights and beat downs can feel VERY tiresome after a while. Yeah, I get it, some of the characters in this film are deadly bad asses, and they have to flex their muscles every now and then. But the overwhelming overload of fight scenes and beat downs in this film gave me a headache, the action in this film wasn’t entertaining for me, and everything reaches the point of overkill pretty quickly.

Also, the majority of the characters in this film didn’t do anything for me. This film does feature a good amount of one dimensional and uninteresting characters, and I just didn’t want to care about them. The main set of characters in this film (Nicola, Yoshi, The Drifter) are all invincible bad-ass killers, and their monotone voices and slow style of speech annoyed the shit of me. The different nationalities and backgrounds of these characters were the only way of telling them apart, because none of the characters really stood out here. Some of the characters in this film didn’t do anything for me, but I did enjoy Kevin McKidd, Woody Harrelson, and Demi Moore. Killer No. 2 (McKidd) was the loyal lieutenant in Nicola’s gang. McKidd was the charismatic and cocky psychotic killer, who would do anything for Nicola, and I enjoyed McKidd’s performance here, because he really did nail this character. For the most part, Killer No. 2 does fall into the into the invincible bad ass category, but unlike the others, McKidd DOES provide a unique and entertaining personality. Alexandra (Moore) is the broken woman, who can’t escape Nicola. Alexandra is Nicola’s lover, and she is a miserable and depressed woman throughout this film, because she chose to be one man’s “whore.” I wanted to feel for the Alexandra character in this film, and Demi Moore did deliver a solid performance. Woody Harrelson delivers another enjoyable performance here, and The Bartender (Harrelson) does provide some good comic relief, but Harrelson couldn’t save this one.

Bunraku can be a pleasing treat for the eyes, because this film does offer some impressive visuals, but overall, this is a very underwhelming and dull martial-arts action flick. Bunraku is a very boring film, and this east meets west action adventure almost put me to sleep. Bunraku feels like this awful mixture of Sucker Punch, 300, and Kill Bill (both volumes), and this film is a major failure on so many levels.

Final Rating: 2/10

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