The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.


奉濟驛重送嚴公四韻 (杜甫)


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Thu, 25 Dec 2003

The Last Samurai

Shittiest. Movie. Evar.

Is it possible that, in this day and age, I am the only person on earth that doesn't have to be hit over the head with each and every point you want to make in a movie? Would it be too much to ask for a little subtlety, a little something left unstated, a hint (just a hint!) of nuance, of depth?

Seriously. What part of having Tom Cruise dressed in a kimono practicing his swordwork while backlit by a brilliant red sunset isn't going to make me wretch? Or spouting pithy quasi-Zen sayings while standing at the prow of his ship? Or falling in love with the fair young maiden whose bare shoulder he glimpses underneath the waterfall, but who can never love him because he killed her husband, but who comes to love him despite this because he learned to be a real samurai?

But no, it's all, ho ho, look at the clumsy westerner tracking mud on the floor! You're not supposed to wear your shoes inside, silly! Didn't you notice everyone else? Ho ho, he's learning about chopsticks! Uh oh, here some the ninjas! Watch out, Tom! Christ. I feel like I've been repeatedly hit over the head for two and a half hours with every half-baked half-assed cliche about the way of the samurai that ever existed. I'd have added a warning about spoilers in this piece, but every plot point is so fucking obvious, it'd be like adding a warning that the earth might be rotating. Hold on tight!

The only remotely good thing about this movie was the scenery. Apart from that, it was too long, it didn't make any sense, it was irritating to watch, it was extremely dated in its presentation of the, at this point, extremely overdone West-meets-East culture clash, it tried to pass off a legion of ninjas throwing ninja stars which only Tom Cruise could defeat as a reasonable thing to happen, and it sucked. I could go on but I am getting myself in a lather here.

Do not watch this movie.

(If you want moving, thought-provoking and artistic samurai stories, read the first fifteen volumes of Lone Wolf and Cub.)

Posted at 23:01 | /media/movies | (leave a comment) | permalink


Wagner's music is better than it sounds. -- Mark Twain