I am not a big fan of Tom Cruise. In fact, I passively try to avoid his movies. He is not a very good actor and there is something negative about the guy. When I saw the trailer for the “The Last Samurai” in the movies back a few years ago, I didn’t like it, and missed the movie on purpose. I though it would be some historical non-sense about an American getting into Japan, learning centuries of samurai traditions and skills in a couple of month and then showing them how real people fight. Or something along those lines.
Today I rented the film because I was really bored, because there weren’t much else to rent, and because I thought the time has come to finally watch it. Once again it seems I missed watching a really good movie on a big screen. Boomer!
There are quite a few things that would have made the experience so much better for if I went to see it in the cinema. First of all, the battle scenes and all the small fights. Secondly, some really amazing scenery and photography. The film was shot mostly in New Zealand, which has been proven many times to be one of the most beautiful countries. At least, on the big screen. Thirdly, this film has an excellent soundtrack and it would have been a bigger pleasure listening to it in something other than a pair of cheap headphones.
I also really liked the story in the film. Not that it shows something that I haven’t seen or heard of before, but it rather reminds of quite a few subjects which are very good to be reminded of. The film has its way around such topics as honor, discipline, loyalty and friendship. These should be talked about more often in the movies for the sake of making the world a better place. (Yes, the whole world, including yours truly.)
Being a complete moron in history, cultures, and traditions, I can’t judge the historical truth of the film. However, Wikipedia, as usual, has an excellent article which describes how the story is relevant to the things that took place in real life.
Overall: 9 out of 10.