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13 Assassins

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Bloodthirsty shogun actioner

13 Assassins review

In the dying days of the samurai, a hardcore elite are assembled to assassinate a shogunate lord so depraved he uses tied-up kiddies as target practice.

Remaking a 1963 film, bloody-minded director Takashi Miike adopts a traditional approach, gathering together his fighters (led by Koji Takusho) in a staid, expository-laden set-up before unleashing hell as the crazily outnumbered warriors take on their foes.

Assassins’ climactic, 45-minute bloodbath allows Miike to show off his flair for violence but you’re not sorry when the last, umpteenth swordsman finally spills his guts.

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