There’s no shortage of samurai content at IndieGala that’s for sure. But RONIN: Two Souls CHAPTER 1 is a special project for us. After Nioh 2 (we did a great samurai movie selection for that one) and The Last Blade (and some more of that), RONIN: Two Souls is next on our agenda. And we’ll happily take any opportunity to write about Keanu and his movies. Because… Keanu.
But unlike the previous two samurai-heavy articles, we’re gonna focus on just 2 movies in this particular article. 47 Ronin and the 2022 sequel. Blade of the 47 Ronin.
But first… A closer look at the game that inspired this article is very much needed here.
What’s RONIN: Two Souls CHAPTER 1 All About?
Developed by M11 Studio and published by 5Deniz Publishing this is an action/adventure RPG for the samurai fan in you. In this fictional world, witness the journey of Kenji. A man who lives on a small island in a deserted corner of Japan meets other people and leads the story of Kenji. Kenji, one day had to do something he did not want, and his whole life changed. As a player, you are free to designate your enemies as friends and your friends as enemies.
RONIN is an RPG that focuses on the story and completely frees the player into the game’s universe. It is an action/adventure game with its own style, where there are no boring and unnecessary missions that you play on and on to win the same loots.
It’s also available for purchase here at IndieGala. But that’s not all Nioh 2 is also available for purchase here and so is The Last Blade. Get it here.
And What Are Some of The Steam User Comments Saying About RONIN: Two Souls CHAPTER 1?
Great indie game, I’m excited about the second part 🙂 says Escaloff.
While Goddes Akuma adds: It’s cool. Buy it.
47 Ronin VS Blade of the 47 Ronin: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly…
47 Ronin is an almost decade-old movie and it’s still polarizing audiences across the board. And 10 years after I first saw it, I just had to go back and watch it again. Just to see if the movie was as bad as I remember it. Frankly now, almost a decade after the original release I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve learned to appreciate it a bit more now, and yes. Hate if in areas I haven’t before.
But in a nutshell, 47 Ronin is a fictionalized account of the forty-seven rōnin. A real-life group of masterless samurai under daimyō Asano Naganori in 18th-century Japan. A band of samurai who have lost their master set out to avenge his treacherous death at the hands of Lord Kira. After surviving a year in captivity, Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) bands together the ronin for revenge. So he enlists the aid of a mysterious half-breed, Kai (Keanu Reeves), who seems to have special abilities.
A Vehicle For Keanu?
Kinda, but not entirely. Personally, I love it when Keanu plays outcasts. Like here in 47 Ronin, in which he’s an outcast among the samurai. I mean, they’ve raised him, but they don’t really respect him. But he does know how to sell an action scene for sure. However, when it comes to acting…. Well, I’ve learned that he can lead a movie, just by his presence alone, and yes. His unemotional, albeit stiff performances, are something to ponder about.
From all of the positive stuff that I can set aside… The combat scenes are awesome (the direction too), and so is the CGI that accompanies it. Furthermore, the colorful cinematography by John Mathieson is generously laden with views of palaces and Japanese fortresses as well as panoramic vistas. The cheesy magic and witchcraft are at times annoying, and so is the lack of character development. I found myself not caring about any of the characters.
But What About The Sequel?
Well, it was far worse than 47 Ronin, I must say. Blade of the 47 Ronin arrived on Netflix just a couple of months ago and it didn’t impress me much. Despite having Mark Dacascos in the cast. And despite being a sequel to the original story. Set 300 years after 47 Ronin, the continued story of ancient Japanese Rōnin warriors in a modern-day world. Age in which the Samurai clans exist in complete secrecy. But despite tanking critically, (and the 2013 movie financially too) you can expect a third movie fairly soon.
It’s uncommon for terrible movies to get plenty of sequels… But why is that exactly?
Movies So Bad… They’re Good?
Look, there are several reasons why a bad movie would get a sequel. First and foremost, there’s the contractual obligation. Perhaps there’s a multi-movie deal with the studio or the streaming service. Secondly, if the movies are from a popular franchise that sells toys, props and whatnot. I’m gonna have to point to every Disney IP ever as a reference. Thirdly, if you fail to make a sequel or a reboot after a contractual amount of time you may lose the rights for any future films. So, naturally, you keep churning crap to legally keep the rights.
And in about 90% of the cases, the sequels are much worse than the original movie. Why is that you might ask? Well, for the most part, the first and biggest problem with sequels is that writers merely attempt to copy the plot of the first film. Oh the other side, the audience wants “more of the same.” So that’s what they tend to get, only “more so” bigger, louder, and a lot dumber.
Good VS Bad Sequels
And generally speaking,… There are two types of sequels. Ones that are a continuation of a larger overall story. Take Empire Strikes Back, Godfather 2, and Two Towers as an example. And then some seek only to squeeze out a few more dollars from an existing audience. Let’s look at Friday the 13th part 2-10, Grown Ups 2, and Scary Movie 5 for this. And they make the most of the market right now. Let’s face it. Not every movie was Top Gun: Maverick this year.
But lastly… There are the movies in the so bad – the good categories are there for a reason. They’re made for the majority of the cinema-going, Netflix-watching audience. The average Joe that likes to grab a beer after work and enjoy 2 hours of mindless fun. He’s not processing anything, just responding to stimuli. Furthermore, the audience filled with regular Joe are not critics or movie experts. Their pallets are not evolved way too much to appreciate the arthouse movies that would otherwise impress an SXSW attendee. And in the end… How many of you would watch a sequel to Tommy Wiseau The Room? Show of hands. Be honest. You’d watch that movie?
I rest my case.
But the question remains…
Did You Enjoy RONIN: Two Souls?
We sure did. Let us know about your favorite thing about the game. We’d love to know all about it.