Starring: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, and Masashi
Directed by: Edward Zwick
The Last Samurai is an epic masterpiece, by far the best
film of the year, and an immediate cinematic classic. Tom
Cruise reminds us why it is he's a superstar.
Capt Nathan Algren (Cruise) is a survivor and
hero of the Civil War. Though he doesn't feel much like either.
He's supporting himself by entertaining county fair goers with
his tales of the savages and wielding a rifle ala Buffalo Bill
Cody. He's also half in the bag all the time
blur the memories of his shames committed under order.
as he's about to sink beneath the gutter of his self-induced sentence
of death by drinking, his old commanding officer, Col. Bagley
(Tony Goldwin), invites him to Japan for a high-paying gunware
is to train Japanese soldiers American style battling - firearms
and strategies. He feels he's got nothing to lose - he lost his
soul long ago, and killing is killing.
Algren meets Omura (Masato Harada), the Japanese general in charge
of commandeering American military talent on behalf of the Emperor
(Shichinosuke Nakamura ). This Omura is really the same as his
old style commander the Captain's seen before - a serial killer
in the guise of a government regiment.
Algren is told his mission will be to basically rub out the rebel
to kill this rebel uprise, Omura and Col. Bagley force their farmer
soldiers into battle too early and naturally it's a slaughter
yard. Capt. Algren survives and is taken prisoner. The Samurai
leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) wants to learn about his enemy
the movie gets of the battlefield and into the hearts of men.
The growth, or rather regrowth of the Captain's wounded soul,
deep friendships, honest love and a word not used too often these
start to fill the beautiful screen. The film is flawless.
Cruise is sincere. His smirking "howya" grin
is replaced by a subtle honest performance. He also roars of manly
endorphins. Tom's always been edible - in a toasted cinnamon muffin,
smeared with full-fat butterwith a dollop of fresh raspberry jam
way - but here? A girl would travel to the remote mountain regions
of Asia if that caliber of yum were dwelling there I tell
this Ken Wantanabe is a stoic slice of mansteak with a side of
heavily seasoned udon noodles! He says more with a single stare
then an entire off-Broadway Stanislavski troupe.
The whole exquisite cast, TimothySpall, Koyuki, Hiroyuki Sanada,
Billy Connolly (yes that Billy), Tony Goldwyn, Seizo Fukumoto
(I aint makin that up), Shin Koyamada and so forth, simply radiate
if truth be told. The film's been touched by the cinema gods of
speaking? From director, to actors, back to costumes,
cinematography, set production, director of photography, make-up
and of course Hans Zimmer's phenomenal soundtrack
this film delivers. And if you like battle scenes? These are some
of the finest set to film - and none of that oh-so-used Matrix
or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon stufamagal neither
Last Samurai is the best film of the year for me, and an
immediate cinematic classic.