Flash Movie Review: Emperor
The stranger standing ahead of me started yelling when he heard me tell the checker I picked Argo to win for best picture. He said the film was a total lie. I told him it was a movie not a documentary. In response to his claim that people would believe the movie’s story was true, I told him he did not have to worry; with people barely reading and writing these days, they would not remember the story. It was the perfect thing to say to him because he calmed down. As he walked away, the checker rolled her eyes. History lessons via movies are an acceptable form in my opinion. However, I understand the writers and director can take liberties with the story, to make it more compelling for the viewer. Like most things these days, one always needs a fact checker. From a historical standpoint, I found this movie’s story attractive. With Japan’s surrender ending WWII, the fate of the country would be determined by General Douglas MacArthur, played by Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln, In the Valley of Elah). As supreme commander of the occupying forces, General MacArthur would have to determine if Emperor Hirohito should be tried as a war criminal. The job of finding evidence against the Emperor became the responsibility of General Bonner Fellers, played by Matthew Fox (We Are Marshall, Lost-TV). His job was complicated by his determination in locating Aya Shimada, played by Eriko Hatsune (Norwegian Wood, Spiral), the Japanese exchange student he met back in college. The movie had too much to handle in the story department. If it would have focused either on General MacArthur or on General Fellers’ story, the movie would have been more interesting. I do not know why people have been saying this was Tommy Lee’s best performance since LIncoln because it was absolutely not. I found him to be one dimensional, though part of the fault falls on the poor script. The scenes that had to do with history kept my attention. As for the rest it left me cold.
2 1/4 stars