Even the sheer star power of Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore and Ron Perlman can’t save this visually appealing but very confused mess of a film that had aimed for high things, only to shoot for the ground instead. For me, it only took about five minutes realize that I don’t like this film. And other critics agree with me as well, as BUNRAKU has achieved a lowly 16% positive rating among the critics poll on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s not particularly good, is it?
Set in a strange and futuristic world, BUNRAKU hoped to achieve a surreal and cartoonish look. And it does that. But, the film just isn’t that interesting, with not really all that much of a story to tell other than some mysterious drifter and a young Samurai warrior battle criminals in a futuristic city. Unfortunately, this story of an odd truce of the Yoshi, the Samurai, the drifter, and a bartender to battle the criminal world of Nicola, the “woodcutter”, is hardly THE SEVEN SAMURAI or even THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN by any stretch of the imagination Those films were great, this film sure isn’t.
Audiences did enjoy this film somewhat more than the critics. But, that was only a 50/50 proposition there. That’s hardy enough to recommend this film.
The Bottom Line: A very disappointing movie experience for me. I can’t recommend this film to anyone. *1/2(One and a half stars, or a little better than flat out poor because of the amount of all the artistic effort this film took, but without a sufficient story to match, this effort was for naught).