After watching the trailer for The Bunraku, I’m more than a little confused. Its visual style conjures imagery of Dick Tracy and Kung Fu Hustle, but it’s as if these films took place in the world of Beetle Juice. Not to mention there’s some guy unloading serious kick-assery while wearing what seems to be the sorting hat from Harry Potter. The story is as follows: a drifter (Josh Hartnett) teams up with a young samurai (Gackt) and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) who plot revenge against a ruthless leader (Ron Perlman), a dangerous man leading an army of criminals headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins. The film also stars Demi Moore and Kevin McKidd.
All in all, the trailer makes the movie look a bit ridiculous but unique enough to leave an impression. Hit the jump to check it out along with an extended synopsis of the film.
Trailer via AICN:
Steve got the opportunity to watch a screening of The Bunraku at the Toronto Internationl Film Festival last year. You can watch his video reaction here.
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.