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The Last Samurai (2003) Movie Review

Personal Review of The Last Samurai (2003) Movie (Action, Drama, History )

Movie Name: The Last Samurai (2003)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writing Credits (WGA)

John Logan (story)
John Logan (screenplay) and
Edward Zwick (screenplay) &
Marshall Herskovitz (screenplay)

 

Cast

Ken Watanabe Katsumoto
Tom Cruise Nathan Algren
William Atherton Winchester Rep
Chad Lindberg Winchester Rep Assistant
Ray Godshall Sr. Convention Hall Attendee
Billy Connolly Zebulon Gant
Tony Goldwyn Colonel Bagley
Masato Harada Omura
Masashi Odate Omura’s Companion
John Koyama Omura’s Bodyguard
Timothy Spall Simon Graham
Shichinosuke Nakamura Emperor Meiji
Togo Igawa General Hasegawa
Satoshi Nikaido N.C.O.
Shintaro Wada Young Recruit
Shin Koyamada Nobutada
Hiroyuki Sanada Ujio
Shun Sugata Nakao
Koyuki Taka
Sôsuke Ikematsu Higen (as Sosuke Ikematsu)
Aoi Minato Magojiro
Seizô Fukumoto Silent Samurai
Shoji Yoshihara Sword Master
Kosaburo Nomura IV Kyogen Player #1
Takashi Noguchi Kyogen Player #2
Noguchi Takayuki Kyogen Player #3
Sven Toorvald Omura’s Secretary
Scott Wilson Ambassador Swanbeck
Yuki Matsuzaki Soldier in Street #1
Mitsuyuki Oishi Soldier in Street #2
Jiro Wada Soldier in Street #3
Hiroshi Watanabe Guard
Yusuke Myochin Sword Master’s Assistant
Hiroaki Amano Samurai Ensemble
Kenta Daibo Samurai Ensemble
Koji Fujii Samurai Ensemble
Makoto Hashiba Samurai Ensemble
Shimpei Horinouchi Samurai Ensemble
Takashi Kora Samurai Ensemble
Shane Kosugi Samurai Ensemble
Takeshi Maya Samurai Ensemble
Seiji Mori Samurai Ensemble
Lee Murayama Samurai Ensemble
Takeru Shimizu Samurai Ensemble
Shinji Suzuki Samurai Ensemble
Hisao Takeda Samurai Ensemble
Ryoichiro Yonekura Samurai Ensemble
Ryoichi Noguchi Samurai Ensemble

 

 The Last Samurai (2003) Expect to see some of the best performances of the year, and intense battle scenes when you see The Last Samurai, but it does take some time to get us into these best performances and intense battle scenes; and no, Tom Cruise is not one who brings his best performance to this film. Instead, supporting actor, Ken Watanabe, who plays Katsumoto, gives an unbelievable performance from the beginning of the film to the end of the film. And though, Koyuki, who plays Taka, speaks Japanese, and has only a couple of lines, she still gives a feeling of passion to the movie.
Now, I don’t want to sound like Tom Cruise did a terrible job in this movie, which he didn’t, but it’s obvious that he will give a good performance (or great performance, in the case of last year’s Minority Report). But there was just something about his character that didn’t really work.
I mean, I didn’t really like how he was an alcoholic, which turned out to be another Pirates of the Caribbean Johnny Depp performance, which was good in Pirates, since we knew that was going to be a comedy; and I know, the alcohol was to prevent nightmares of a previous war he fought in from happening. But those nightmare-flashback scenes didn’t work, because we never found out what he did in that war to give him nightmares. I have guesses, but I’m not really that sure.
I’m still (barely) recommending this film, because of all the great performances, which could get Oscar-nods, and intense battle scenes, but if you go see it, you’ll notice that quite a bit of chunk of this movie could have been taken off from its 154 minute-long movie.

Read my review about Elizabethtown 2005  and The Day After Tomorrow 2004

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