I’ve always been fascinated with westerns, so it really intrigued me when I found out that one of the best westerns ever was actually based on a Japanese Movie. The Magnificent Seven Starring Yul Brener, and a movie my dad (whose a western fan) absolutely adores was actually based on a Japanese movie called the Seven Samurai.
In both movies 7 men are chosen by villagers to defend a their village from attacks from Bandits. In the Japanese original, villagers ask the help of seven samurai to help defend their village. The seven are inidividual characters themselves and the characters are built up throughout the movie. It also offers insight into Japanese living, and some parts of the movie I’m sure had specific cultural context which I could not understand.
That being said, the movie extends for more than 2 hours, and the first 1 hour involves little (if any) action. Don’t expect all guns a blazing, there are just 3 guns in the movie, and each of them play a specific role. It’s when bandits begin to attack the village do things get really interesting, and the movie is proof positive that you don’t need multi-million dollar effects to get you excited about action scenes, great action scenes can be shot without CGI, in 4:3 aspect ratio and in Black and White (and you’ll still enjoy it).
As the bandits attack, the movie gently moves from insight to Japanese culture to a great action movie that is comparable to the shootouts we so loved in westerns.
I wouldn’t know if it’s an accurate representation of samurai living, but I loved the story, and I guess you would to. You should watch the movie, but it gets too boring round the middle, just forward it tills the bandits show up, things get really exciting then.
In one word…..unexpected. The action sequence at the end is far more captivating than the beginning. Half way through the movie I expected it to be boring, but the end was truly unexpected.
That’s my 2 cents, don’t spend it all in one place.