Two detectives investigate a murder at a Japanese conglomerate that
may be connected to a software merger with an American company.
Rising Sun (1993)
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Written by Philip Kaufman, Michael Crichton, Michael Backes
Starring Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel,
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Kevin Anderson, Mako, Ray Wise,
Stan Egi, Tia Carrere, Steve Buscemi, Tatjana Patitz
Based on the novel by Michael Crichton
Throughout his colorful career, Sean Connery has starred in some real lemons alongside his iconic classics, but I've never seen a film where his very presence consistently grated on my nerves. Rising Sun is such a film, taking a bloated novel that is not all that interesting to begin with and turning it into an overly-long, overly-complicated corporate espionage thriller so irritatingly dull it would make John Grisham fall asleep. Connery is paired with the only actor who tries to keep it interesting, Wesley Snipes, but he simply lacks the gravitas to hold it all together. Ironically, Sean Connery is the one who should've been able to do that, but I guess this time around, he wanted to play a sempai.
Rising Sun stars Connery and Snipes as two LAPD detectives (or maybe not, it's not all that clear who they report to) who are investigating the murder of a call girl in the boardroom of a Japanese company. The whole film really tries to fit in every possible Japanese stereotype and spends as much time as it can to bash them on a personal level. Harvey Keitel's entire character exists solely to constantly talk s**t about the Japanese. It's not entertaining, it's not even accurate. It's just uncomfortable for all parties involved. On top of that, Connery plays his part like he's still James Bond in You Only Live Twice, when he was assimilated into the Japanese culture by wearing a black wig and narrowing his eyes. It's annoying throughout, especially as you realize his character doesn't make any sense to begin with.
The story is even worse. Crichton tried so hard to fit every possible plot twist he could into this thing that by the end, when the killer's revealed, you really don't care anymore. This film is far too long for what it is, namely a Burn Book filled with Japanese names disguised as an espionage thriller. If there's one solace to having watched this film, it's that I never have to watch it again.