Finally caught The Last Samurai last night. It was a decidedly mixed bag — really cool samurai (and ninja) action, but a bit heavy on the “white man’s burden” stuff about how western civilization has done nothing but destroy noble and honorable cultures.
It felt like Dances with Wolves with katana.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not debating that western cultural imperialism has done some pretty shitty stuff over the years, but the underlying message in this movie annoyed me. It seems to have become fashionable to knock the historical legacy of western culture, despite the amount of good it has done the world.
There was also a bit of a Braveheart to it — a small band of rebels going up against nearly insurmountable odds, and winning the respect of their foes.
Again, cool battle stuff, cool historical accuracy, annoying thematic message.