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13 Assassins review

Takashi Miike's period samurai drama takes a while to get going, but the fight sequences make it worthwhile

A man of many talents, most of them to do with genius cinema violence, Takashi Miike (Audition) returns with a devoutly classical, if not exactly classic, remake of a 1963 period samurai film.

After assembling his (not so) dirty (baker’s) dozen, Koji Yakusho ambushes an evil lord’s army, despite being suicidally outnumbered.

All politics and posturing, the first two-thirds of the film are stiff and uninvolving, and although the climatic 45-minute free-for-all is genuinely spectacular, it’s clear where the director’s heart lies.

“I thought samurai would be fun!” whines one chap. So did we.

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