HIROKIN: THE LAST SAMURAI is the type of
movie I would have found 20 years ago on the video store shelf with the type of actors you would see in many direct-to-video
productions. Julian Sands is evil and controlling as the evil dictator Griffin while
Wes Bently the hero stumbles back and forth between a sleepwalking acting state and mild anger revenge acting. No matter how bad or good the movie would have been, Julian Sands would still shine through with
his character like he did as the Warlock movies. Wes Bentley reminds me
of the Patrick Swayze character in another post-apocalyptic movie called STEEL DAWN where the lead character also had a sword
and it also took place out in the desert. No matter how crude the people
live in this movie, you do wonder how the bad guys manage to have hovering ships (due to the fact the planet has a mineral
which makes metal float). However, it is an independent production that
is probably restrained by its budget and still the production crew manages to create some good sets and costumes.
HIROKIN: THE LAST SAMURAI takes place in
the future on a faraway planet where Hirokin is out to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the tyrannical Viceroy
Griffin. He gets in touch with the force (I mean wei, but you can tell
the filmmakers were influenced by STAR WARS when they wrote the script). Hirokin
is told by the rebel leader of the Arid people that he is supposed to unite the tribes and he needs to forget revenge (and
save the tribes from the tyranny of Lord Griffin). HIROKIN: THE LAST SAMURAI
cribs from several different stories including STAR WARS, DUNE, that Patrick Swayze movie, and probably even the JOHN CARTER
OF MARS novels. You have a man longing for the family he believes dead while
the oldest daughter of the tribe (aka the daughter of Moss) is in love with Hirokin and wants to get busy with him. Meanwhile, Julian Sands gives a great evil performance and he probably could read the phone book in an
evil way (which would be pretty cool if you called information and got Julian Sands to deliver the phone number listing in
an evil voice).
HIROKIN is a movie that has nothing to
with samurai other than some swordplay and you wonder why they named the movie HIROKIN: THE LAST SAMURAI. It got Wes Bently (from the recent HUNGER GAMES) as the title character. The movie does drag for the first 30 minutes before improving only to have the action scenes and the acting
of Julian Sands and Angus MacFayden to keep one’s attention. It is
an underdeveloped movie which could have used a better way to start out the film and give you more reason to care for my lead
as he just sulks around and wants to go on a revenge quest before being taught the force (I mean wei) by his own personal
Jedi Master (I mean peaceful zen master rebel leader).
Six deleted scenes that were cut for pacing
and story reasons. They all are scored which means they probably edited the scenes
out late in the process.
CREATING ARADLUS: THE MAKING OF HIROKON:
THE LAST SAMURAI plays like a trailer for a making-of featurette. I would have
loved a longer featurette that went into more detail of making this film instead of a quick two minutes and 50 seconds with
lots of quick cut clips from the making-of the movie with some interview bits with writer/ director Alejo Mo-Sun.
TRAINING THE SAMURAI: FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
is a brief two minutes of Wes Bently rehearsing the fight choreography.
Extras are rounded out with the theatrical
trailer and previews for other releases from Lionsgate.
FINAL ANALYSIS: HIROKIN: THE LAST SAMURAI reminds me of the days when many direct-to-video productions flooded the shelves
waiting to be discovered. I wish they went into more detail on the making
of this independent production even if the movie is a misfire which could have been better and only Julian Sands escapes with
his dignity intact. I enjoyed
the movie as something that makes for a good time waster as a rainy day rental.
This DVD Review is (c)2-8-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted
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