MovieChat Forums > The Last SamuraiĀ (2003) Discussion > Didn't like this movie too much... here'...

Didn't like this movie too much... here's my take on it

I find this movie's IMDb rating hard to believe... Well, At the beginning i did kinda like it up until the part Tom Cruise was captured and during 6 months he somehow managed to learn nearly fluent Japanese, become a Samurai, let alone one of the best Samurai under Katsumoto, get the wife of the man he killed and the town's affection.

Also, I am afraid to say that this movie sides with the wrong side during the Meiji period restoration. Due to the establishment of a modern Japanese army (learnt from the Germans btw, not the Americans) - The samurai class no longer held all military power. They became angry and formed pockets of resistance. On the other hand, those who wanted to develop the Japanese army did want what was best for Japan - acknowledging the world around them and developing Japan and it's armed forces to be strong enough so European powers will not be able to colonize Japan and steal their resources.

Now that we know of Japan fanatic imperialism during WWII it may be harder to side with the restoration but nonetheless it was the best move for Japan to take...

The movie romanticizes the Samurai even though the Samurai only wanted what was best for them...

The movie seemed too fictional to me... A White American becomes a Samurai and saves the day..

The one thing that managed to calm me down was the comparison done between European Americans and Indians in the US to Samurai and the military restoration in Japan - The film made it clear that both American Indians and Samurai were fearless of death and brave. Perhaps that was the point of the film? to side with American Indians rather than with Samurai class in 18th century Japan?

That's my take on the movie...


Thank you for sharing your view! I enjoyed it for what it was, a movie. Historical accuracy isn't something I'd look for in a movie. This film was made to entertain and that is what it did.


I also think this movie was overhyped a bit. Though why you take it as some historical film? Hollywood loves romanticizing everything, especially ww2 and jewish holocaust even though 99 percent of stuff that is shown in movies never happened. I accept movie as just a movie, not documentary and in this regard it was fun to watch but still I think it is just OK movie. Not good or superb, but ok.


The "American" did not solve everything. It was not "easy" for him to gain the respect of the Samurai. It only happened after he proved himself to actually be on a path to becoming one of them.

The Ninja attack...

You notice that immediately after, they bow to "The American", where before this, they did not... he was one of them now.

I enjoyed this film for the acting and direction. Edward Zwick, known for Glory, About Last Night (the good one), and Moonlighting....
The soundtrack is awesome! Hans Zimmer never disappoints.
And yes, it's all fiction, but that's what a good Director does! He turns a story into art... the great ones do, anyway.


Those of us intrigued by the actual history of Japan can go ANYWHERE (computers????) to read and learn the real history. This film and other great media like NARCOS beckon to the fans, real ones, to go research.... find out what really happened.... what motivated the production to change this or that...

And yes, that's peeking behind the curtain, but after you've seen a film or any media you actually liked and enjoyed, what better way to enrich that sentiment but to research the subject matter AND LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT IT, not just seeing the 2 hour "movie"...?

What are you, a deplorable?! Never get your history from the loudmouth on tv. Always get more than one source.

I suspect you know this....

And the "American"... he's in it, and it's just my humble opinion, to WITNESS the events. To see the substance of the Samurai. To translate it. To bring it into the modern era just as Katsumoto said. Nothing in the film shows "things going great because of the American"... if anything, he f*cked up the treaty they were about to sign.

Algren (sic?) was lucky to be there. He was able to restore his own personal honor as Katsumoto also realizes before his end.
The last one.... that was Katsumoto.... Algren was there to RECORD it... why you think they focus on his journals????

The love angle...

He doesn't even get any of that in the film! It's assumed that after perhaps... but nothing is explicitly stated. The weight of Algren's guilt was clear to Taka and thru the course of the film, she waivers on her disdain for him because she can tell he IS CHANGING... maybe not into her husband, but a man who has lived and loved that what she does, understands somewhat what she does, and with that guilt of taking her husband, accepts the responsibilty to care and love for the her and her kids.

All the men of the village are dead... and this is when Algren goes back to begin anew with her....

That's NOT "winning the fight and getting the girl". Have some depth to your vision, bro.


Nice post.


I loathed it... there's a pompous self-importance to Ed Zwick's movies that rubs me the wrong way, and I think this is my least favourite of those I've seen. A lumbering bore from start to finish, with even Watanabe's well-liked performance a far cry from his charismatic best.