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A war photographer, Yuji Nishizaki, played by Takao Osawa, photographs a plane crashing in the Japanese Alps. The Japanese self-defense forces go on alert, and another journalist, Shinichiro Ochiai, played by Hiroshi Tamaki, talks Nishizaki into going to the crash site to see what type of load the plane was carrying.
Without giving away the details of the plot, it is a race, as not only are the Japanese Self-Defense forces racing to the plane, but an armed group of foreign agents, and it is imperative that the Japanese reach the plane first. The journalists end up assisting the Japanese armed forces.
In a way, it's kind of like the Japanese version of the movie, the Green Berets, with John Wayne. The two journalists, for their own reasons, are anti-military, but end up seeing the necessity of a country having to have armed forces. Ironically, the army major credits Nishizaki on why he ended up with a career in the armed forces.
In most ways, however, it's not like the Japanese version of the Green Berets because the movie is highly critical of the United States and Japan's relationship with the United States. Whereas the Green Berets applauded American involvement in foreign lands, this movie directly and indirectly criticizes the United States for "bossing around" Japan without considering the implications for Japan, and is critical of the Japanese governemnt for letting the United States push it around to the point where a crisis has developed which, if not resolved correctly, would cause tremendous destruction to Japan.Read more ›
When a U.S. stealth bomber mysteriously crashes in a remote section of the Japanese Alps, a pair of intrepid war correspondents head up into the mountains to investigate what the plane might have been carrying. Meanwhile, two other journalists stay behind in the city to see if they can unravel the mystery from there.
This decidedly low-tech Japanese film is short on action scenes and special effects - the helicopters look like toy models suspended from invisible wires - and long on conversation and personal angst. The latter is provided mainly by the central character, a world famous war photographer who became disillusioned with what he saw on the battlefield and retreated into the wilderness, where he took endless pictures of mountains, alienating his now deceased wife and abandoning his little son in the process. But when the gravity of the current situation is revealed to him, he decides it's time to swing back into action, at great personal risk to himself and the buddy with whom he's working.
Apart from its being overlong and distended, there's nothing drastically wrong with "Midnight Eagle." It's a perfectly serviceable nuclear-age drama, I suppose, but one that just doesn't happen to add up to a whole lot in the end.
I'll split the difference and give it 2 1/2 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this movie, unfortunately its not available on Netflix anymore...some of the Japanese translations are a bit off (Sempai / Kohai but translates as names - I see this... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sodane
Overall, pretty good Japanese movie. DVD quality is good as well. Might not rival the multi-zillion dollar Hollywood ventures but still good.Published on March 13, 2010 by MJL
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