Bunraku (2010)

It’s a tale as old as time… REVENGE!   In a post apocalyptic but strangely noir world where guns do not exist, two drifters – a ninja and a cowboy (Josh Hartnett) arrive without the knowledge of each other, but with the same goal: kill the gangster boss know as Nicola The Wood Cutter (Ron Pearlman).  For different reasons the two men want him dead; for Yoshi the ninja it is to reclaim a stolen family artifact and the cowboy wants to avenge the death of his father.  To beat Nicola they must join forces and first defeat his Red Suit gang and his army of 10 assassins.  With the help of a know-it-all bartender (Woody Harrelson) and a community tired of being terrorized, the two get what each want most.  Although this plot summary is simple, please do not think that the movie is as well.  It is very much based in its visuals and the plot is there to push those visuals along to a degree we haven’t seen before.

Alex’s Thoughts:  When you take semen from Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, Sin City and Kung Fu Hustle, then stuff all that up in Kill Bill’s business… Bunraku is what comes out nine months later.  I know that is pretty graphic, and I just blew your mind, but I really don’t know how else to explain this movie; I’ve never seen anything like it before.  It has a very unique visual style, and you could find yourself not even paying attention to the story, and just get lost in the visuals.  The story isn’t all that bad, but Josh Hartnet’s kung fu leaves a lot to be desired and Demi Moore is just tired looking and pointless as Nicola’s private whore, and kind of drags the story down.  The movie accomplishes its goal of story telling through a pop up book, but I just wish the acting was a little better.  Alex Rates This Movie 8/10

Tim’s Thoughts: This is one of my favorite movies that we’ve watched for the blog, at least in the last year. The stylized story telling is unique and makes this movie a lot of fun to watch. The story drags out a bit, but the movie as a whole is pretty great. Also some slick photography, pay attention to the amazing long take, as the Drifter (Hartnet) fights though several levels of a prison. I love the creativity, and freshness of the storytelling. Yes there are a few down parts, and it makes sense that Hartnet is not the greatest martial artist, because he’s a cowboy without a gun. Not a ninja, or even better a Samurai without a sword, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Tim Rates This Movie 9/10

All this fighting. It’s not who’s right. It’s who’s left.”


View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue