Miike takes on yet another genre with the winning 13 Assassins
When the protagonists finally commence their mission, their target is already aware he's being pursued. He's surrounded by some 200 soldiers by the time Miike arrives at the film's sustained, spectacular climax: a small village his retinue must pass through, and which Shinzaemon and co. have turned into a giant booby trap so that 13 men can divide and destroy an ogre guarding army.
A major reason why mainstream Hollywood fantasy and straight action movies have gotten so depressingly interchangeable is that digital FX and stunt work can (and does) visualize any stupid idea — heroes who get thrown 200 feet into walls by monsters then getting up to fight some more, etc. 13 Assassins is thrilling because its action, while sporting against-the-odds ingeniousness and sheer luck by our heroes as in any trad genre film, is still vividly, bloodily, credibly physical.
13 ASSASSINS opens Fri/20 in Bay Area theaters.