Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 106 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 13+. It’s basically a post-war movie, so there is some violent stuff associated with the aftermaths of World War II, as well as cursing and everyone smoking, everywhere, because that’s what people did back then. There is a romance, but because of how repressed Japanese society was sexually, nothing really goes down that would be questionable.
‘Emperor’ delivers an expectedly gruff turn from Tommy Lee Jones, a disappointingly stagnant performance from Matthew Fox, and a frustrating plot that is “based on a true story” but actually isn’t at all, really. Better war movies have been made with less.
By Roxana Hadadi
Tommy Lee Jones has rarely (maybe never?) given a bad performance, and “Emperor” isn’t an exception. As Gen. Douglas MacArthur—the Army phenom with the big pipe who basically ruled Japan for a few years after the end of World War II—Jones is gruff, growly, brusque; all the things you would expect a military official with serious authority to be. But the story is flat and insipid around him; Jones’ performance has its typically magnetic appeal, yet the narrative can’t hold its own.