Reviewed by Jason Coffman
Rating: 9 Beans
efore you see this film, ask yourself one question:
Have you read Michael Crichton's novel? If no, you
may be able to safely proceed in viewing the film. If yes,
avoid this film at all costs. It is the single worst adaptation of
a novel I have ever seen. This is not an exaggeration.
Wesley Snipes (of "The Fan" and "Murder At 1600") plays
Web Smith, a character who wasn't in Crichton's book. The book's racist protagonist, Peter Kelly, has been made into an almost totally different person to
make the "buddy" aspect of the story work better. His
"buddy" is John Connor, played by Sean Connery. The main
thread of the plot is the same as that of the novel: a party is
held to celebrate the merger of an American and Japanese
corporation, and a young woman is killed. The mysterious
Connor is brought in to oversee relations with the Japanese
businessmen who represent the corporation because
Wesley Snipes doesn't know how to deal with them properly.
In fact, his character doesn't do hardly anything. He's played
as the typical short-fused action movie cop. Of course, Sean
Connery is the level-headed one who can handle
Japanese-American relations, but has to rely on Smith to
give him a helping hand in American-African American
relations. The scene in which Snipes' "homeboys" foil the
villains is truly embarassing.
Crichton's novel explored the inner workings of the Japanese
businessmen. They were (relatively) fully-developed
characters. In the film, their behaviour is explained in a
tossed-off manner by Connery, if at all. Most of them are
ominous cardboard Japanese villains. Of course, there are
villianous white people, too, and they are the truly evil ones.
So turn the basic plot into a Hollywood buddy picture and
don't worry about anything else.
Of course, anyone who enjoyed the book will probably be
upset, but they have Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery.
That means they can count on some box office. I've spoken
to people who haven't read Crichton's novel who thought that
"Rising Sun" was "all right." But everyone I know who has
read it feels that the film is trash. Figure out which side you'd
be on (shouldn't be hard) and make your decision. But I'd like
to think I've swayed you off it a bit.
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a subsidiary of Syphon Interactive, LLC.
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