Last Samurai

The Last Samurai (2003)

The year is 1876.

A broken American military-marvel, Nathan Algren, is whisked away to Japan to help train its army to fight against samurai. He laments that he is valued for his ability to suppress tribal rebellions, but relishes the irony that we all feel when usually the job we like least is the job we are most suited.

Upon arriving in Japan, he is joined by the British translator and cultural guide Wormtail Simon Graham. Act I comes to a close as one of the Emperor’s regiments is defeated in battle by the samurai and Nathan is taken captive.

Act II sees the samurai leader, Katsumoto, and Nathan take reciprocal interest in their cultural differences. After a failed ninja-assassination (partially thwarted by super soldier Algren), Nathan is accepted as a trusted member of their clan. He returns to Kyoto with Katsumoto and company with renewed disgust for the campaign to wipe out the samurai.

Vice Minister of War Omura, again, tries to have Katsumoto killed, and Katsumoto, again, escapes. They return to the mountain village to prepare for another summer of fighting. Nathan, instead, convinces Katsumoto that they should play “300” and go out in a blaze of glory.

ACT III

With his assimilation complete, Nathan dons the armor of the Red Samurai he killed in battle and is honored with a sword of his own. Katsumoto and his allied clans ride out to meet the formidable Imperial Army of Japan.

Does Nathan’s horse kick that dude in the schlonger?

Oh, yeah. Totally.

Katsumoto waited until mid-combat to find out the end of the story?

Katsumoto was a really cool guy and knew the way of bushido. He, however, did not surround himself with the best advisers. Specifically, suicidal Nathan Algren.

When does Nathan learn to fight with two swords?

Nathan was one of very few beta testers. From this, he was able to level up quickly as he knew some of the best grinding areas and would likely be considered a cheater. A beta-cheater. A beater. Beaters are known to dual-wield.

Wasn’t that was badass when Nathan chucked that sword into Colonel Bagley’s chest?

Aw yeah. Albeit quick, it’s one of the most satisfying revenge-killings in any movie.

What happened to Captain Algren?

No one knows what became of him. Some say he died of his wounds. Others, that he returned to own country. But I like to think he may have at last found some small measure of peace, that we all seek, and few of us ever find.

If you have any other questions about the end of The Last Samurai, leave them in the comment section below.

~Phil

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