22nd Apr2012

‘Hirokin: The Last Samurai’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Wes Bentley, Jessica Szohr, Angus Macfayden, Julian Sands, Laura Ramsey | Written and Directed by Alejo Mo-Sun

Hirokin

If there’s one reason I love B-movies. Sometimes the films are absolutely terrible and in other cases, like with Hirokin: The Last Samurai, they are fantastic hidden gems that deserve to be brought to everyone’s attention.

Set in on a planet where humans must scavenge the post-apocalyptic barren wasteland, the eponymous Hirokin (Bentley) – a reluctant hero with a dark past – sets off on a mission to fulfill his destiny. Having fought to the death to save his wife and son from the planet’s evil dictator, Griffin (Sands), and his elite army of hunters, Hirokin is left for the dead in the desert. Saved by a follower of the rebel Moss (Macfayden), he is taken under the wing of the rebel leader. Armed with samurai blade, Hirokin is forced to choose between avenging the death of his family and fighting for the freedom of the planet. In a twist of fate and with a bands of rebels by his side Hirokin’s vision becomes clear and his destiny fulfilled.

Released to coincide with Wes Bentley’s appearance in The Hunger Games, a film which couldn’t be further from the stylings and story of Hirokin: The Last Samurai , the movie is the directorial debut of Alejo Mo-Sun and clearly wears its influences on it’s sleeve – from the post-apocalyptic setting and vicious “games” a la Mad Max 3, vehicles that look like the skiffs from Return of the Jedi, a distinct Hunter/Prey feel to the films villains, to, bizarrely, the Steel Dawn-esque story – in fact the film is so close in terms of story to the Patrick Swayze movie that it could almost be considered a sequel!

Another film that feels like it has stepped straight out of the 1980s, Hirokin: The Last Samurai is an astonishing first feature – director Mo-Sun has crafted a spectacular sci-fi adventure that, at least for me, surpasses the big-screen blockbuster John Carter, with more imagination and heart than Disney’s by-the-numbers flick

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