DVD Review: Hirokin - The Last Samurai / Cert: 15 / Director: Alejo Mo-Sun / Writers: Alejo Mo-Sun / Starring: Wes Bentley, Jessica Szohr, Angus Macfadyen / Release Date: Out Now
I know from experience that no one sets out to make a deliberately bad film. These things just happen despite themselves. Here we have a movie that is simultaneously bad while not being bad enough to warrent cult status.
The reason that this 2008 film is suddenly available to buy at all seems to be summed up in the phrase “It’s got Wes Thingy in it... You know Wes Thingy out of that other film... The one that’s big with the kids...” Wes Thingy is in fact Wes Bently who plays Seneca in The Hunger Games. A wily producer has looked at the success of the new film and jumped on its passing band wagon full of screaming fans.
Well, a word of warning to such fans. Just don’t bother. It is not very good. Not very good at all.
The plot, such as it is, concerns a planet where subjugated human like aliens – cheaper than CGI - scavenge the desert wasteland. Hirokin – enter the hero with the obligatory dark past - promptly sets off on a mission to fulfil his destiny. Having fought to the death to save his wife and son from the planet’s evil dictator - Griffin (Sands) - and his elite army of hunters (all dressed in Clone War castoffs). The eponymous lone warrior is left for dead in the (reasonably) vast desert. And the audience have trouble caring less. Armed with his samurai blade, Hirokin is forced to choose between avenging the murder of his family and fighting for the freedom of his adopted people. Oh and there’s a (small) rebellion thrown in to try and hold the viewer’s attention.
Even the presence of genre mainstay Julian Sands is not enough to rescue this slow motion car crash of a movie.
Yes, this feels like Dune’s poor relative but it has more in common with the Yeast Lords movie as seen in Gentlemen Broncos. The effects are shoddy and the story line is laboured. Perhaps the oddest aspect of this film however is the title. It has nothing what so ever to do with samurai other than featuring some disappointing sword play, which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an episode of Xena.
All in all, it has the feel of a movie you would come across while searching for something to watch at three AM with an itchy remote control thumb. Save your money. Wait for it to be on at 3am and let your insomnia be cured.
Special Features: None