Guy Moshe’s BUNRAKU seems to be the forgotten film of this year, after the respectable feedback from Toronto Film Festival September 2010 we heard nothing about the movie apart from 2 unofficial tv spots but nothing else until now. How to describe this movie especially visually all I’ll say is confused dot com, take elements from 300, dick Tracy, Sin City, Batman (original tv), German expressionism even Beetlejuice! the list is endless but most off all its a wild action fest full kick ass coregraphed fight scenes! BUNRAKU you get that feeling this movie is Moshe’s own Suckerpunch hopefully its not as disastrous as Snyder’s flick, it is simply a fun popcorn munching no brainer which people shouldn’t take too seriously.
Its probably be the cast that may attract the people to this movie Josh Harnett, Gackt,Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman and Kevin McKidd, though looking for something a little on the crazy side this might do the trick. BUNRAKU tells the story of a drifter (Harnett) who teams up with a young samurai (Gackt in his first English speaking role) with bartender (Harrelson) to plot a revenger against a ruthless gang leader (Perlman) and his 9 diverse deadly assassins. Its crazy but unique and there’s no news on if the movie is getting a theatrical release in the UK however I have noticed the movie is been released her on DVD/Blu-ray from October 3rd which suggests it will be a direct to dvd release as the American release in September 30th.
In a hyperreal, hyper-saturated, hyper-driven dystopia, guns are banned upon pain of death and the sword is now king.
Nicola the Woodcutter (Ron Perlman) is the most powerful man east of the Atlantic, a shadowy crime boss who rules with an iron fist with the help of nine diverse assassins and the Red Gang, a force not to be trifled with. His right-hand man is Killer #2 (Kevin McKidd), a cold-hearted, smooth-talking, toe-tapping murderer dressed in red and wielding a deadly blade without remorse. The citizens live in fear of this pack of wolves, and wait for the hero who can overthrow the tyrant.
One night, a man (Josh Hartnett) walks into the bar of the local insurgent (Woody Harrelson) and desires two things: a shot of whisky and to kill Nicola. Soon, another stranger enters the bar, a samurai named Yoshi (played by Japanese pop star GACKT). Yoshi wants to avenge his father by taking back a talisman that Nicola stole from his clan. Armed with crossed destinies and incredible fighting skills, the two set out on a journey, breaking bones and cracking heads in search for Nicola.
In an amalgam of samurai film, spaghetti western and chop socky – and using a stylish blend of neo-noir, German expressionism and Russian futurism – director Guy Moshe’s debut feature Bunraku is nothing short of ambitious. Characters in the world of Bunraku spin and ricochet against a backdrop that resembles a pop-up-book made of origami, ever-changing and whirring like a steam driven Victorian theatre set. It is a universe driven by pugilistic force, delivered in a brash style of amazing physical combat sequences by stunt coordinator Clayton Barber and fight choreographer Larnell Stovall that evoke Gene Kelly by way of Bloodsport. Hartnett will surprise many with his presence as the man with no name, played with a steely perfection and ripped straight out of a Western, while GACKT channels Toshiro Mifune’s stone cold devotion to a mission.
Completely unique while drawing upon a myriad of classical influences, Bunraku emerges as a visually stunning and adrenaline pumping blend of flavours old and new, east and west.