MOVIE: The Last Samu­rai

GO!, 8.45pm, M (2003)

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Glory di­rec­tor Ed­ward Zwick carves out a visu­ally spec­tac­u­lar trib­ute to the clas­sic films of Akira Kurosawa through this sweep­ing epic. Tom Cruise plays Civil War vet­eran and mil­i­tary ad­viser Nathan Al­gren, who’s dis­patched to Ja­pan in 1876 to train the em­peror’s troops. Lead­ing an in­ex­pe­ri­enced group of sol­diers, Al­gren is swiftly cap­tured and in­car­cer­ated by the skilled samu­rai (Ken Watan­abe, who steals the show from Cruise) and be­comes en­grossed in the prin­ci­ples of Bushido (“the way of the war­rior”). Un­der the guise of a su­per­fi­cial ac­tion epic, Zwick un­leashes a stylish, thought­pro­vok­ing homage.

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