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The Last Samurai

Starring - Tom "snigger" Cruise, Ken "Oscar winner wannabe"  Watanabe and a bit part for Billy Connelly

Director- Edward Zwick


having heard mixed reviews about this movie, i thought i would add in my review in this section, although i must admit i would not have felt as compelled to write about it if not for some of the reviews i've read in *certain blogs. 

low initial expectations of a movie is sometimes a good thing and it was in this case. our forefathers had their ways of passing down tales of grandour, bravery and honour in war and in our case, our medium is the silverscreen. We don't want to hear about quasi heroes shot down in the first 15 seconds of battle, we want to hear about the miraculous ones- the ones that the pillaged, kicked ass, got it on with women of the vanquished and yet kept his honour. 

When approaching movies like these, i don't expect plausibility to play a huge role, just maybe enough to give credit to a viewer's average level of intelligence.

and so i was pretty happy with the story- abit too dances with wolves-ish but on the whole, good. its also been ages since watching a proper samurai-ninja fight on screen- kill bill doesn't count. if only there was a more memorable soundtrack- ala- John Barry's theme in dances with wolves.

what i liked about the movie was the feelings it evoked- pride, scorn for injustice and admiration for the heroism portrayed. a movie is well done if you felt something other than boredom or the need to walk out. i was impressed with the way director Edward Zwick sidestepped drawing conclusions for the audience and allowed questions to be asked and opinions to be formed about the modernisation of Japan and the death of samurai feudalism. that's been my yardstick for measuring war movies - the thought provocation involved. 

lastly- the issue about tom cruise in the lead role- the only other person i'd picture in that role would be russell crowe- but you have to hand it to Mr. Cruise- he looks better in a japanese "dress". 

again - pity for lack of a more resounding soundtrack and damn Chow Yun Fat, Ken Watanabe deserves that Oscar nomination. (Not that i give much stock to the Oscars- but that's a story for a different article)








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