EMPEROR Review - Tommy Lee Jones and Cast Shine in this World War II Drama

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EMPEROR, the World War II Drama, from Roadside Attractions, brings to the screen an engrossing tale of one of the matchless moments in World War II history as the greatest generation of all times secures global victory.

Directed by Peter Webber, EMPEROR is captivating from the beginning. Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, and Matthew Fox as General Brigadier Bonner Fellers set the stage as the players in this Pacific Theater war drama which details the transfer of power after Japan’s unconditional surrender. 

EMPEROR centers on what became the problem of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, after the August 15, 1945 surrender. Hirohito, embodied by Takataro Kataoka, remained essentially under house arrest in a country with an angry and devoted military and was seen as, and had a self proclaimed title of, a deity.

By the time of the surrender, Japan, as EMPEROR depicts, had seen the devastation of the two major cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as America retaliated over the December 7, 1941 attack on the U.S. Fleet docked at Pearl Harbor, four years earlier, which resulted in all eight of the US Battleships damaged, four sunk at port, 188 Aircraft destroyed, 2402 US Military killed, with 1102 dying on the USS Arizona and 1282 others wounded.

EMPEROR has parallel stories, which in reflection humanizes the senselessness of war. The devastations of World War II, resonated in the ruins around the world, including the land of the rising sun, destroyed countless lives, homes, families and acts as a back story as Brigadier General Fellers seeks to find the Japanese woman he loved.  

The love story, which is shown in flashbacks, is as compelling as the primary story and is presented in contradictory points of view as one who had deep passions for Japan, its people, and culture and by colleagues, which attempt to paint Fellers, as a Japanese sympathizer.

Given a ten day window to bring Japan under the authority of the US government, and make a determination regarding war crimes prosecution for the attack on Pearl Harbor, Macarthur/Jones, enlists General Brigadier Bonner Fellers /Fox to assist in discovering the exact details surrounding the attack.

Given the daunting task of discovering the evidentiary trail, preventing honor killings and providing all evidence to General MacArthur, Fellers, is on a time sensitive mission. The evidence will make the determination as to prosecution for war crimes. In a last ditch effort, Fellers with his translators and permission of MacArthur, arrives at the home of Emperor Hirohito.

This action sets up an historic and unprecedented meeting between MacArthur and Hirohito.

Produced by Gary Foster, Yoko Narahashi, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff, EMPEROR was written by David Klass and Vera Blasi based on the novel by Shiro Okamoto and stars along with Jones, Fox and Takataro Kataoka, newcomer Eriko Hatsume as Aya Shimada.

EMPEROR is well written, with an absorbing, interesting and gripping storyline, very well acted with exceptional performances from a stellar cast. EMPEROR delivers on every level!

EMPEROR is playing at theaters everywhere. Check your local listings for times.

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