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Snoot Entertainment/XLRator Media/ARC Entertainment/IM Global, 2011
Written and Directed by Guy Moshe
Running Time: 118 minutes
Rated R for graphic violence and profanity.

Josh Hartnett (Salesman in Sin City) as the Drifter
Woody Harrelson (Defendor, Tallahassee in Zombieland) as the Bartender
Gackt (overrated, overexposed J-pop artist) as Yoshi
Kevin McKidd (Tommy in Trainspotting, Mactavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2-3) as Killer #2
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Nino in Drive) as Nicola the Woodcutter
Demi Moore (Jules in St. Elmo's Fire, Molly in Ghost) as Alexandra
Jordi Mollà as Valentine
Shun Sugata (Takayama in Ichi the Killer, Nakao in The Last Samurai) as Yoshi's uncle
Emily Kaiho as Momoko
Mike Patton (Faith No More lead vocalist) as the Narrator

Several years into the future, following a devastating global war, mankind has outlawed the use of guns. However, the will to fight still exists using swords and fists. A nameless cowboy known as the "Drifter" and a lone samurai named Yoshi arrive in a lawless town with just one common objective: kill the ruthless and powerful crime lord Nikola the Woodcutter. Despite their initial differences, the duo befriends a local bartender and join forces to take down Nikola and his syndicate of killers.

Bunraku (文楽) is a term used to describe a centuries-old form of traditional Japanese puppet theater. Unfortunately, this movie makes puppet theater look and feel more exciting. Bunraku (the movie) is an ambitious attempt to fuse together Sin City with a Spaghetti Western and a Samurai Epic in a digital sound stage. Hell, there's even a fight scene that tries to be the old video game Elevator Action. Sure, the fight scenes are marvelously choreographed and many of the camera angles are well-placed, but the intentional paper look of the background props just adds to the half-@ssed approach to the storytelling. The talents of Woody Harrelson and Kevin McKidd are wasted by the bland dialogue and cheesy acting by both Josh Hartnett and Gackt. Demi Moore may still be hot in her late-40s, but really, she doesn't do anything to make this film more watchable. Worse is that this cliché-ridden snooze-fest is almost two hours long, struggling to wow viewers with its cheaply-made visual effects in place of a non-coherent plot (if there ever was one to begin with).

In short, Bunraku is just a mediocre rental at most. It actually makes Sucker Punch look like an Oscar contender for Best Picture.

Rating: D

Official Site

The Internet Movie Database Edited by areaseven
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