Anyone that’s taken top billing in Point Break, Speed, The Matrix and John Wick deserves to be called one of the greatest action heroes in the history of cinema, but seeing Keanu Reeves in the blockbuster genre is not always a barometer of quality. The hits definitely outnumber the misses, but sometimes we end up with disappointing duds like The Day the Earth Stood Still or utter disasters like 47 Ronin.
The project was first announced in December 2008, but didn’t reach theaters until five years later after being hit by a series of setbacks and production issues. And right around the time it was announced that Carl Rinsch would be making the jump from music videos to helming a $225 million effects-driven fantasy blockbuster, alarm bells were set ringing around the industry.
Insiders and analysts were predicting the worst for 47 Ronin from the very beginning, long before the budget spiralled out of control and Universal ordered extensive reshoots to drastically increase Reeves’ presence in the movie, while Rinsch was essentially banished from his own directorial debut after post-production was taken completely out of his hands.
Needless to say, 47 Ronin bombed, and it bombed hard. It just about scraped past $150 million at the box office, and was widely disparaged by critics as one of the worst big budget efforts of the modern era. However, it’s been dominating Netflix this weekend, having crashed onto the global Top 10 most-watched list a few days ago, and is now holding firm in third position. Terrible spectacle-orientated films have been proving hugely popular on the platform recently, and with the added bonus of Keanu Reeves, it’s honestly not even that surprising that 47 Ronin has managed to find an entirely new audience on streaming.