Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Stars ìììì

The Last Samurai—outstanding masterpiece—tells the story of the disintegration of the Samurai as Japan’s warrior class. Masterfully told, the film begins with character Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a United States Army officer, suffering from anxieties and nightmares about mayhems committed against Native Americans in which he participated under his commanding officer, Colonel Bagley’s (Tony Goldwyn) orders. Japan requests United States’ aid to train a modern Japanese military force that will replace its outmoded Samurai warrior class. Colonel Bagley sends Captain Nathan Algren to train this new army in the use of modern weaponry. In the first skirmish with the Samurai, the new Japanese military is defeated and Captain Algren is captured by the Samurai. Because he conducted himself so well in battle, the Samurai do not kill him and he gradually assimilates into the Samurai culture. He aids the Samurai in fighting the new Japanese Army and wins Samurai loyalty. But, in a final battle, the Samurai are defeated and Captain Nathan Algren is taken captive and taken to the Japanese Emperor Meiji (Shichinosuke Nakamura). He talks with the Japanese Emperor and persuades him that the Samurai are a long part of Japan’s honorable past and that rather than destroy the past, it should be honored. The emperor listens and the story winds down to a satisfying conclusion.

Additional Thanks

This film comes under a Best Work effort for Director Edward Zwick. Thank you to Executive Producers Ted Field, Vincent Ward, Charles Mulvehill, and Richard Solomon for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), Winchester Representative (William Atherton), Winchester Representative Assistant (Chad Lindberg), Omura (Masato Harada) ,Convention Hall Attendee (Ray Godshall, Sr.), Zebulon Gant (Billy Connolly), Omura’s Companion (Mosashi Odate), Simon Graham (Timothy Spall), and General Hasegawa (Togo Igawa).

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Ben Meyers

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