Review: ‘Gung Ho’

Trying to save his town, auto worker Michael Keaton journeys abroad to plead with Japanese industrialists to re-open the plant in Hanleyville, Pa, that's been closed by foreign competition. Soon after, the Japanese invasion begins. From the first morning of calisthenics, it's clear the American workers will not adapt well to Japanese management.

Trying to save his town, auto worker Michael Keaton journeys abroad to plead with Japanese industrialists to re-open the plant in Hanleyville, Pa, that’s been closed by foreign competition. Soon after, the Japanese invasion begins. From the first morning of calisthenics, it’s clear the American workers will not adapt well to Japanese management.

Drawn from real life, the conflict between cultures is good for both a laugh and a sober thought along the way. Director Ron Howard has problems straddling the two, sometimes getting bogged down in the social significance.

Keaton can be funny as he puzzles the Japanese. Gedde Watanabe is excellent as the young Japanese exec whose career is threatened by the lack of output by the Americans.

Gung Ho

Production

Paramount. Director Ron Howard; Producer Tony Ganz, Deborah Blum; Screenplay Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel; Camera Don Peterman; Editor Daniel Hanley, Michael Hill; Music Thomas Newman; Art Director James Schoppe

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Michael Keaton Gedde Watanabe George Wendt Mimi Rogers John Turturro Soh Yamamura
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