Excerpt: Before I gush shamelessly over 13 Assassins —easily one of the finest action-dramas I've seen in a long while—I want to go on record as saying that I've never been a fan of its director, Takashi Miike. I despise his controversial but celebrated Ichi the Killer as a shallow and garish bit of cinema trash, and panned Sukiyaki Western Django for being irritatingly self-conscious and too cute by half.
Excerpt: Takashi Miike’s new samurai epic 13 Assassins , based on Kudo Eichi’s 1963 film of the same name, is a film that action fans are going to have an easy time falling for. There’s something deliciously old school about its sprawling, sure-footed storytelling and classic guys-on-a-mission plot. If Miike, notorious for the likes of 1999’s genre-bending shocker Audition , is going to break through to a larger audience, it may well be with this film.
Excerpt: This period action flick is a tale of vengeance and honour, combining 'old-school' Japanese heroics with genuinely poetic sentiment. The story and electricity builds slowly as we're introduced to the '13', before exploding into one of the greatest extended battle sequences of all time. Blood flows, limbs fly, and heads roll in what is quite simply a ballet of brutality.