Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Hirokin: The Last Samurai


Starring: Wes Bentley, Jessica Szohr, Angus Macfadyen, Julian Sands and Laura Ramsey
Signature Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 23 April 2012

On the planet Aradius, the Arid peoples have been enslaved by their human masters for a millennium. The believers of the Wei hold on to the prophesy that a mysterious warrior will arise, to help them throw off their chains and achieve freedom. Hirokin, a human, takes an Arid woman for his wife, strictly against the law, making them both social outcasts, with their son they live on the edges of civilisation. When they are discovered, Hirokin’s wife is killed and Hirokin finds himself in the camp of Moss, the only man preaching rebellion. Here Hirokin must choose between fulfilling his destiny or avenging his loss...

Hirokin: The Last Samurai (2011 - 1 hr, 41 min, 15 sec) is a science fiction film, written and directed by Alejo Mo-Sun. It also represents the first time he has taken on the triple roles of producer, director and writer. This watering down of the three roles unfortunately shows in the final product.

Hirokin is another example of a film whose cover does not accurately reflect the movie. The first obvious problem is that Hirokin is not a Samurai, not even close. This smacks of a little fear on the part of the promoters. The cover also misleads as to the film's content, especially the part which places the ground vehicles, of which you only get one in the film, in the air implying some form of space battle. In truth, most of the film has little in the way of sets; the major two being the woefully tiny human settlement and the tents of the rebels. Most of the film is shot in the desert or on its fringes.

Hirokin would have made an average television movie, the script and its delivery is a particular problem. The script contains far too many clichés to be interesting and too much of it smacks of borrowing from other desert based stories, like Dune. But unlike Dune, which had layers of meaning, Hirokin has only one: the age old story of a man who must choose his destiny. Unfortunately, even given the length of the piece, we learn little of the socio-political history. What you get is: most humans are bad, highlighted by the fact that most are played by the less attractive actors, and most Arids are more attractive and very bad at rebellion.

With such an investment in your leading man, who spends most of the film on the screen, the film stands or falls on the performance of Wes Bentley (Hirokin). I’ll give him that he does a great brooding, but brooding does not carry the film, nor does it invest the narrative with tonal differentiation. He has the looks of a leading man, but obviously struggles to make an average script believable. Towards the end this lack of connection meant that I really didn’t care what happened either at the end of the film or the fate of its central character.

Julian Sands turns up as the bad guy, Griffin, a man who believes that torture and murder is an acceptable social control mechanism. He plays the bad guy well, but then this sort of thing is second nature to Sands, I can only presume that he liked the size of the cheque on offer, as the film is way below what he should be doing at this point in his career.

The direction and cinematography are adequate without ever becoming outstanding, you get no real feeling that you’re looking at an alien planet. The picture is clean, as would be expected from a modern product. The disc has no extras.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£8.97 (
£10.99 (
£9.00 (
£8.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.