Takashi Miike, one of the most prolific directors in the world, has two new films for 2010. One has already been released in Japan: Zebraman 2, which provides a sequel to Miike’s charmingly oddball ‘superhero’ movie from 2004.
The other is 13 Assassins, a dead-serious samurai movie which seems to be a bit like The Dirty Dozen by way of Seven Samurai. Now there’s a full-length trailer to remind you of how capable Miike can be when he works on a grand scale.
13 Assassins is a remake of Eiichi Kudo‘s 1963 film of the same name, which at the time drew some fire for being a bit too much like Seven Samurai, despite the fact that 13 Assassins is a solid picture in its own right.
So with this Miike is going totally straight-faced, which is a nice turn from 2007′s Sukiyaki Western Django, which was a lot more playful and kooky. I like Miike when he’s playing around (especially with something like The Happiness of the Katakuris or later Dead or Alive movies), but I love him when he really focuses and makes a movie with serious intent. The fact that he can flip back and forth is one of his greatest strengths, but I’m always happy to see him work in a classic form. And 13 Assassins looks like he’s very much in classic form.
Here’s the synopsis:
In the era of the Shogun, an evil young lord rapes and kills, assured of immunity by law. But he didn’t count on the Thirteen Assassins. A feared secret force, each with their own deadly skill, the Assassins undertake a suicide mission to wipe out the Lord. As he embarks on a perilous journey, the Assassins close off his escape route and ambush him in a village of death. But little do they know, they are outnumbered four to one by the Lord’s crack team of bodyguards. The streets will run red.
And here’s the trailer for the original film.