Thursday, April 10, 2014

Great Blu-ray movie review: Seven Warriors

Well Go USA | 1989 | 92 min | Not rated | Apr 22, 2014 (2 Weeks)
 
 
Is it possible to roll over in your grave before you're even dead? Akira Kurosawa may have at least looked askance when his classic 1954 film Seven Samurai became John Sturges' Americanized The Magnificent Seven (along with several sequels starting in 1960 and continuing on for over a decade). Sturges' film at least had the benefit of a smartly rethought setting and some great performances, along with the director's trademark handling of action sequences. But the iconic Japanese director may well be spectrally furious with what has happened with some of his most legendary films since he shuffled off this mortal coil. One of the touchstones of 20th century cinema, Kurosawa's immortal Rash on, became the basis for a pretty dunderheaded follow-up called Tajomaru: Avenging Blade in 2009. But some twenty years earlier, Seven Samurai itself (themselves?) was adapted yet again in a fitfully amusing but ultimately pointless reboot called Seven Warriors. This 1989 outing is noisy, frenetic and even occasionally fun at times, but it's a pale (one might go so far as to say bloodless) reinvention of Kurosawa's original. Rather sloppily directed by Terry Tong (with the somewhat better fight choreography handled by Sammo Hung), and scored with what must certainly be one of the most inept sets of cues ever slathered onto a soundtrack, Seven Warriors lumbers about, attempting to revisit a lot of the tropes in Kurosawa's masterpiece without ever offering much of anything new and finally kind of sullying the memory of the famous film.