A Japanese auto company is persuaded to take over an abandoned factory--and abandoned U.S. workforce--in a small rust-belt town in Middle America. Alas, this wonderful idea for a culture-clash comedy goes pretty much to waste in Gung Ho
. Michael Keaton gives his most relentlessly obnoxious performance as the fast-talking shop foreman who never stops BS'ing his Japanese employers, his work buddies (George Wendt and John Turturro among them), his girlfriend (Mimi Rogers), and himself. There's a trumped-up crisis in every reel, and a great deal of double talk about whether the Japanese are workaholic freaks or the new, true inheritors of the old American get-up-and-go. Director Ron Howard and screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel had made the enchanting comedy-fantasy-romance Splash
only a couple of years before; they probably thought they were concocting a Frank Capra-style fable here, but, far from having a beautiful mind, this movie is strictly sitcom mentality from top to bottom. --Richard T. Jameson
From the Back Cover
When Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Batman) persuades a Japanese auto firm to reopen his hometown's auto factory, he's a hero. But when the Japanese hire him to enforce their policies among his American co-workers, he goes from hero to zero in seconds flat. It's manpower vs. horsepower on the assembly line. Salami vs. sushi in the cafeteria. And a head-on cultural collision that's enough to upset the world's balance of laughter. See how really crazy things can get when Michael Keaton's in charge in Gung Ho--another great comedy by director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Night Shift, Cocoon, Parenthood).