I have major issues with writers who want to reduce The Last Samurai to a white messiah tale. If you have actually watched the film you know it is a blatant denunciation of western culture and the elevation of Shinto as the superior lifestyle. This is embodied by Cruise’s complete rejection of his western heritage and embracing the Samurai way. (Incidentally, another misconception of the film was that the title referred to Cruise’s character. It does not. Samurai is plural. It was referring to the actual last remaining Samurai of the Satsuma Rebellion )Cruise doesn’t actually save anyone. The armies he was hired to train in the films onset are routed. The rebellion he adopts as his new cause loses anyway. His only action of note was playing historical observer for Ken Watanabe, the actual hero of the film.