Film | Bunraku – Quick Review

Bunraku film 2011
Bunraku (2011)

Plot – The story of a young man who has spent his life searching for revenge only to find himself up against a bigger challenge than he originally bargained for – Bunraku.

Director – Guy Moshe

Starring – Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman, Gackt

Genre – Action | Fantasy

Released – 2011

Bunraku is a hard film to fully describe, not just because of its unique style but also its plot. At its heart, the story focuses on two strangers who team up to save an oppressed town and take down the local warlord. A rather familiar plotline but presented in such a unique and experimental style that’s a treat for your eyes and leaves you wondering what you’re going to see next.

Anchored by the wonderfully over the top narration by Faith No More frontman Mike Patton, Bunraku is a pretty unusual movie, filled to the brim with various gimmicks, including amusing dialogue that runs throughout the script in an attempt to elevate the plot form being another routine story of revenge, sadly, however, you will have seen this story done better in other films, making me wish the filmmakers had spent as much time working creating a script as unique as the visual design.

Now onto the style of the film, which is admittedly a real treat in terms of imagery. The set design, cinematography, and visual effects are first-rate, feeling like a mix between Scott Pilgrim and the ’60s Batman TV series. While lack of guns in this futuristic world meant that the fight sequences were an entertaining mix of martial arts and the barroom brawls seen in Spaghetti Western, mirroring the personalities of both heroes. The Drifter (Hartnett) and Yoshi (Gackt)

Reminding me in many ways of Sucker PunchBunraku is a film where style is seemingly more important than substance and just like Zack Snyders 2011 action-fantasy, the threadbare plot and severe lack of character development is only enjoyable if you’re prepared to turn off your brain for an hour or two.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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