Wednesday 26th January 2022

The Last Samurai (15)
Directed by: Ed Zwick
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The Last Samurai is the latest epic to hit our cinemas, following the Hollywood trend of big action films with big battles and lots of sword fighting. In this one, Tom Cruise plays Captain Nathan Algren, an alcoholic civil war veteran who is tortured by his memories of battle and drinks to forget. At his lowest ebb, however, he and some of his army comrades are hired to go to Japan and train an Imperial army of conscripts to use modern firearms and wipe out the sword-wielding savages. That is if you can call the firearms they had in 1876 “modern”.

A guy about to chop some stuff up
A guy about to chop some stuff up

Of course, things do not go smoothly, and before long Cruise's character is captured by the Samurai enemy, and kept alive in a small mountain village so that the Samurai leader, Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), may learn more about his enemy.

As the story progresses, several interesting relationships develop in the village, while Algren learns more about the way of the Samurai and strives to atone for his war-time sins against the Native American Indians.

This movie is visually stunning, and the acting, as we've come to expect from The Cruiser's films, is flawless. The battle scenes are exhilarating, and the director, Ed Zwick (Legends of the Fall), has managed to capture the action more clearly than a lot of directors have in recent films.

The Last Samurai doesn't hold many surprises in its storyline, but it is nonetheless very exciting to watch, extremely engaging and full of action and rich characters. Overall, I'd have to say this film comes highly recommended. If you've already seen The Return Of The King, and you're looking for some more action, then this is the film to see!

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Length: 154 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 9th January 2004

Top Five Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)
User Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)

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