Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army in the art of modern warfare. As the government attempts to eradicate the ancient Samurai warrior class in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly affected by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds.
The movie is somewhat based on the French General Jules Brunet’s life.
Tom Cruise was excellent as Captain Algren who has nightmares about his involvement in killing Native Americans and who comes to love the Samurai way of life. Ken Watanabe was excellent as the Samurai lord Katsumato. Timothy Spall was ok. Billy Connolly has a small cameo. Tony Goldwyn was good as the bad superior of Algren. Hiroyuki Sanada was very good as one of the Samurais. Masato Harada was good as Omura. Koyuki looked very pretty and she was very good as Taka. Her relationship with Algren is very beautifully and subtly handled.
Edward Zwick’s direction is very good. Its an excellent movie about how the Samurai’s lived by the code of honor. Its beautifully shot and it shows the respect that warriors have for each other. The only part I did not like was the ending which I think dragged a bit and it was a bit filmy the way the emperor suddenly decides to take a decision on his own.
P.S. This was originally a comment I made back in April 2015. Decided to convert into a review with some minor changes.Tags: Tom Cruise