Last Samurai, The (2003)
Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly
Washed up and drunk war veteran Nathan Algren (played by Tom Cruise) is hired by the Japanese government to train their new army, with their first enemy the Samurai rebellion, led by the emperor's former instructor Katsumoto (played by Ken Watabane).
In the first confrontation between the Japanese army and the Samurai Algren is captured by the Samurai and taken back to their village. Algren befriends Katsumoto, and learns a new appreciation for their way of life.
Algren then returns to Tokyo, where his loyalties have now changed.
Martial Arts Styles Used
Kendo, Ju Jitsu
Katana, Guns (Various), Bokken
Yes it's Tom Cruise as a Samurai, and on paper there is no good that can come from a film based on that premise. Yet Cruise delivers a fantastic performance as Algren, going from drunk war veteran to reformed Samurai.
His scenes in Japan with the Samurai village are charming and very well done, the friendship that forms between Algren and Katsumoto is very engaging and touching.
The action sequences are very well done, with enough sword-play and battle scenes to keep the most keen martial arts film buff happy.
Cruise gives one of his best performances as Algren, and Watanabe portays Katsumoto beautifully, making this one of those rare occasions where Hollywood and Martial Arts actually work together to deliver a great film.
Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team