Just as Clint Eastwood’s star-making spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, Japanese-Korean filmmaker Sang-il Lee (Villain) has decided to reinterpret Eastwood’s Oscar®-winning Unforgiven as a Japanese period film. Set in the late 1800s, after the fall of Shogunate Japan, onetime assassin Jubee Kamata (Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe — Inception, The Last Samurai) lives in seclusion on a small farm. But when the new government begins harassing the local populace, Jubee is forced to break the promise he made to his dead wife and take up the sword once more.
User Reviews: What goes around comes around. Just as a fair number of westerns were remakes of classic Japanese Samurai movies so Sang-il Lee’s "Unforgiven" is a fairly literal remake of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winner of the same name. Here we may be dealing with samurai but that doesn’t disguise the fact that these guys may as well be cowboys and this could be the American West. It’s a reasonably exciting and handsome picture, gorgeously shot in widescreen by Norimichi Kasamatsu, but it is also so close to the original it feels almost negligible. Ken Watanabe plays the Eastwood role but it’s something of a one-note performance; he lacks Clint’s gravitas. This could have been a classic but as it is it’s nothing more than a very good copy.