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Becoming immersed within the action is even easier because of the highly authentic look of the film. The locations, the buildings, hell, even the swordplay were all ideally designed to hearken back to 1800-era Japan. I felt like I could have been watching stock footage of events that actually happened. Hence, it should go without saying that all the acting involved is top notch. The fact that I had to read subtitles never once interfered with me fully connecting with each actor's performance. And holy shit, will you ever hate the main villain! Again, I couldn't help feeling like a part of the assassin team out to track down and kill that son of a bitch.
On the duller side of the sword, I will admit that the first half of the flick took its time setting up the pieces that would eventually come together for that grand fighting finale. There wasn't a whole lot of action here at the beginning, which felt just a tad boring because I kept salivating over the inevitable battle that was to come. And, believe it or not, I wished that more violence could have been shown. Really! The samurais were so quick with the slashing of their swords, that there wasn't enough time to see any cuts in those that got offed. Slain soldiers simply shot to the ground the instant they got hit. It still looked cool, but I was just hoping for some all out splashy grue.
Slow sections aside, I can't imagine a more authentic, captivating, and lavish exercise in martial arts action. Save for possibly one oddly forced touch of humor near the end, 13 ASSASSINS handled its story with grace, intensity, and honor.
Audio Japanese dolby digital with English and Spanish subtitles.
Nearly 20 minutes of Deleted Scenes.
And the film's Theatrical Trailer.