Rising Sun (1993)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Detective Film, Whodunit  |   Release Date - Jul 30, 1993 (USA)  |   Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Costello

Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Michael Crichton's Japan-bashing potboiler is a fairly standard buddy-cop movie featuring a pair of entertaining star performances. Although the novel's overblown alarmism about the dangers of a dominant Japan would soon be undercut by the meltdown of its economy, the director shrewdly muted the xenophobic material that had made the book so controversial, transforming it into a noirishly incomprehensible film, whose byzantine plot, proliferating characters, and hints of a parallel world of unspeakable vice evokes The Big Sleep. Unfortunately, Kaufman treats this pulpy material with an undeserved seriousness, slowing the pace of the film in a way which underlines its frequently inane dialogue and whimsical plotting. Yet Sean Connery has a great time as the larger-than-life detective whose omniscience regarding all things Asian borders on the comic, and the chemistry of his mentor/student relationship with partner Wesley Snipes carries the viewer smoothly over some of the lamer moments. Also worth noting is the handsome production design of Coppola associate Dean Tavoularis