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.