Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.
historical drama japan loss of loved one war crimes sense of guilt swordplay general samurai war veteran katana sword arms deal homeland emperor language barrier self-discovery mountain village foreign legion mercenary campaign commercial agreement insurgence leader war strategy gettysburg slaughter soldier alcoholic u.s. soldier japanese army 19th century war trauma
Almost Perfect Filmmaking
The Last Samurai is an epic period movie at its best. The era of the Samurai is most interesting and the scenery of Japan is exquisite. The Last Samurai could be described as a war movie but I like to think of it as a one man's journey into his own heart to ponder his own beliefs and morale and to fight his own demons. This is the kind of movie that absorbs you into another world with all its beauty, grandeur and exotic locations.
The first thing that really made an impression on me was the beautiful music. In my book the score of The Last Samurai is definitely one of the best scores of Hans Zimmer. I still get goose bumps while listening to the soothing "A Way of Life" or marvellous "The Way of the Sword".
The Samurai village in Japan is the most beautiful place both in terms of physical and inner beauty and the music reflects it perfectly. The viewer can easily be fond of the almost magical feeling of the village and the humble way of life of its inhabitants. Some of the most rewarding scenes happening in the village include Samurai leader’s (Ken Watanabe) intellectual conversations with Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise).
There is also a small amount of humour in the movie. For example it's very funny to see an American soldier experiencing ancient traditions of the Samurai. Even thought slight good tasted humour is welcome, there are few moments in the movie where to humour feels just a little forced. Another slight flaw I can think of is few actions sequences which go little over the top with their magnificence. But those are minor details and the good stuff out does them any day. In my opinion an epic period piece doesn't get better than this.
The Last Samurai
I really like Asian films though this one was American with a glipse of Oriental influence. I personally hate Tom Cruise and all his movies, but for some reason this was actually okay. I still had some issues with watching Cruise to be everywhere in the movie, but I think the Japanese culture in the film gave him a nice twitch. All in all not the greatest I've seen, just mediocre.