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Midnight Eagle

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Sep 23, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Based on the riveting novel by acclaimed writer Tetsuo Takashima (Intruder), Midnight Eagle chronicles a heart-pounding race to save a nation from annihilation. When a gifted photographer (Takao Osawa) witnesses the crash of a U.S. bomber in Japan’s snowy Northern Alps, he becomes a reluctant hero who must defy the odds to protect the plane’s lethal contents from getting into the wrong hands. Directed by Izuru Narushima (Fly, Daddy Fly), Midnight Eagle is the action-packed adventure that critics are calling “a gripping and poignant thriller” (David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle).

Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Fuji, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Ken Ishiguro
  • Directors: Izuru Narushima
  • Writers: Yasuo Hasegawa, Kenzaburo Lida
  • Producers: Cellin Gluck, Thomas Nelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AZIRWM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,919 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Midnight Eagle is a standard B movie thriller about international intrigue, but it is interesting because of its observations, which, may or may not be, valid viewpoints in the eyes of the Japanese.

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.
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**1/2

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.
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The other reviewers are missing the point here. The plot is relatively simple and other reviewers have given that. This is a Japanese film with English subtitles. It would best be appreciated by men who have a military and combat background. Touches on futility of war, PTSD, destroyed family lives and those who basically 'run away' as the only way to deal with posttraumatic stress. The overt anti-nuke policy of the Japanese is well-illustrated, as is the 'desire for peace' and the message that 'all war is futile and purposeless'. This is the attitude of the three generations of Japanese following WWII...their grandfathers being the poster children for extreme brutality and atrocity and the overt definition of what war is. A very cerebral film which leaves the viewer in overt depression. After all...all war is pointless!
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Midnight Eagle is a rare gem of suspenseful action and moving drama. Two friends and an SDF special force officer must locate and defend a downed American bomber carrying a nuclear bomb from North Korean agents. Watched before couple years ago and found a copy while browsing to add to collection. Realistic characters and the situation allows the viewer to become absorbed into the film. The sacrifices they have to make to safeguard the nation gives it quite the ending.
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