In an apparent homage to masterpieces of the samurai genre, THE LAST SAMURAI opens with an incongruously elegant, black-and-white sequence, in which two unidentified martial artists spar on a seashore. The film settles down more pedestrianly in the office of Yasujiro Endo (John Fujioka), a
wealthy Japanese businessman. Endo, a devotee of the martial arts and the disappearing traditions of an earlier era, is haunted by visions of a solitary figure traversing the plains. With his assistant and sparring partner Miyagawa (James Ryan), Endo embarks on a trip to the fictional African
nation of Imatzi. Ostensibly traveling to negotiate with silicon miners, Endo also seeks...