A JAPANESE legend with roots in reality, the tale of the 47 ronin has been adapted into just about every medium imaginable, from ballet to graphic novels. Now Keanu Reeves stars in "47 Ronin," an Americanized version.

The movie can be a hoot, with some zippy battles staged by director Carl Rinsch, and a script by several writers that works better than expected. But it also feels like a somewhat botched attempt by Hollywood to bridge a box office culture gap.

What's most impressive about "47 Ronin" - its strict adherence to the ancient Japanese honor code of bushido - is also what drags it down. "47 Ronin" would have been more fun if it kept swinging its sword instead of falling on it.