2013 | 98 minutes | Rated PG-13
Somewhere deep in Emperor, there’s a great movie waiting to be filmed. The idea of a film set during the American occupation of Japan at the very end of World War II is rife with drama, and the fact that Emperor tells a true story makes it even more of a shame that the movie turned out to be so mediocre. General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) is the sleuth at the heart of a drawing-room mystery; the whodunit, though, is about whether Emperor Hirohito demanded the bombing of Pearl Harbor or whether the command came from government employees. The problem here is primarily Fox, who seems 500 percent creepier since his Lost days; his inability to present any emotion at all hobbles Emperor’s many flashback sequences. Only Tommy Lee Jones is at all interesting as the fame-hungry General Douglas MacArthur, and his scenes are far too few to make a difference.
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