The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai (2003)
Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: John Logan, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Producer: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Scott Kroopf, Tom Engelman, Ted Field, Richard Solomon, Charles Mulyehill, Vincent Ward
Cast: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Koyuki, Tony Goldwyn, Seizo Fukomoto, Timothy Spall, Hiroyuki Sanada, Masato Harada, Sosuke Ikematsu, Shin Koyamada, Aoi Minato, Shichinosuke Nakamura, Shun Sugata
Running Time: 144 min.
Plot: Set in the late 1870s, this epic film depicts the beginnings of the modernization of Japan, as the island nation evolved past a feudal society, as symbolized by the eradication of the samurai way of life. We see all this happen from the point of view of an alcoholic Civil War veteran turned Winchester guns spokesman, Captain Nathan Algren (Cruise), who arrives in Japan to train the troops of the emperor, Meiji, as part of a break away from the long-held tradition of relying on employed samurai warriors to protect territories, as the emperor's new army prepares to wipe out the remaining samurai warriors. When Algren is injured in combat and captured by the samurai, he learns about their warrior honor code from their leader, Katsumoto, which forces him to decide which side of the conflict he actually wants to be on.
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: In recognition of Japan's most well-known contribution to the world of poetry, I now offer a haiku synopsis of The Last Samurai:
Hey, that was easy. Quick, too. And accurate. I should do this more often. Review #300, here I come!
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 7/10