The Last Samurai Essay

926 words - 4 pages

The movie, The Last Samurai, filled the theatres in 2003 with its suspenseful plot, exciting battle sequences and historical reference within the script. In the film, The Last Samurai, Americans were portrayed as an influential world power. Thus, a troubled American, Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is hired to teach the Japanese, American war tactics in order to fight in combat against the Samurai. Through a brutal journey of battle and strife, Nathan is faced with the life or death situation of fighting for his new home and for the last of the Samurai or battle for the land, he is not proud to call his own. The film makes use of the time period, politics, technology, and violence to illustrate the horrors of the real, America.
The film takes place shortly after the civil war and on the brink of the gilded age with Nathan Algren being the hero. Algren is hired due to his experience in fighting Native Americans. It is apparent throughout the film that Algren is troubled by the atrocities that he and his fellow Americans committed towards the indigenous. Thus being the fight that witnesses the pure evils of America. The Samurai are similar to the Native Americans in several ways. They both have simple ways of life, and they both were fearless in battle. During the gilded age, men and America grew to be concerned on becoming industrialized and a dominate world power. There, the need for world domination, money and power caused for greed and ruthlessness to overpower the vicinity of, what was once glorious America. The Americans during this time, were known as one of the greatest armies, due to the fact that they had overcome adversity and fierce adversaries from their past. Their ability to do so came from their innovations in technology and hunger for conquest.
Technology played a large role in the film and in American history. The film had a large emphasis on firearms, particularly near the end. This is shown through both the Native Americans and Samurai, as they only used simple weaponry such as swords, spears, and bows and arrows. These weapons were no match for American battle formations and artillery. Native Americans and Samurai ended up suffering the same fate. They both had their way of life destroyed due to new ways of life, new technology, and American hunger for power. The movie depicts not only America, but also humans, with a tendency to think that they can take whatever it is they want, despite the consequence of receiving it, whether it is lives or of their morals. By the end of the movie, the viewer almost feels hatred towards firearms due to the intense scene where the Samurai army is completely destroyed by the use of firearms against them. The Samurai did not stand a...

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