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synopsis for movie i have not seen
The Last Samurai:

Tom Cruise used to be a brave soldier, believing that his ideals and those of the army were one in the same.

We see a flashback to shocking, violent experiences in the civil war, where the innocent were preyed upon with bloody ruthlessness, actions engineered by his cold-blooded superiors.

He leaves the army, losing his faith, then his soul, turning into husk of a man, standing for nothing, with little agenda but his own survival.

I am not sure how this is going to happen, but for some reason they need him in Japan. Perhaps to they need him as a mercenary. Yeah. And he goes there to get away from debt, and, yes, his PAST.

At first he hooks up with the *wrong* type, the type who assume his morals are for sale, and his bleary, wayward self is about to go along with it, when he meets one of the last Samurais (rapidly being phased out in an increasingly modern world lacking the ageold wisdom of this noble tradition).

Initially mistrustful of their type, and filled with misconceptions of their true nature, he struggles with them (cue excellent fights, pitting the quickdraw rasslin' of the Yankee vs. the measured sword sweeps and flowing-robe acrobatics of the samurai).

Through his stuggles with the samurais (that mirror the struggles with his own opposing selves) he gains a grudging respect for them. Just then, they get royally screwed over by the people he has come to serve (killed? stripped of office? Probably killed)

Remembering his experience in the army, he is reminded of all the wise or innocent people he saw murdered and the blood on his own hands, he is spurred into action. He shows up, covered in rain, blood, or sweat, to the home of the Last Samurai, whose terrified wife opens the door.

Tom has decided he wants to serve the samurai order. Over a plate of strange but beautiful Japanese food (cue cultural exchange) with the couple adn their beautiful, willful daughter, they forge a bond to resurrect the ways of the Samurai.

Unfortunately, the good old American charisma and the age-old Japanese wisdom are not enough to save the master from a tragic but ultimately heroic death fighting for his ideals, but Tom is the most heroic, and fuelled by new meaning and love of the daughter, he triumphs, saves some people, and ultimately himself.

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post #658
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