Gung Ho (1986)


“This is Looney Tunes! ” – Kazihiro

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After a Japanese company buys an American automobile plant, the workers must try and find a way to deal with the new methods and ethics of the Japanese management.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I heard about when it came out yet never had much of an interest to find out what it was all about

I have always been a fan of Michael Keaton’s work on film, but he once again finds himself in this movie in a kind of character that he played far too often.

He fails to find a way to make this character stand out among his many other roles and that hurts this film more than helps it.

The story is actually one long running joke that doesn’t work because it seems to be too repetitious in the ways that they try and show the cultural and ethical differences between the  two nationalities of the characters.

The story lacks real heart and that also causes problems especially when the story has more potential than is realized here.

The characters of both the American team of workers and the Japanese management team all feel like caricatures and none of them are able to stand out as characters that are interesting to watch what happens to them since none of them are developed on anything more than a superficial level.

This movie sis terrible and it does have a few moments that work, but they are few and far between and that’s quite a shame since they never seem to find a way to make the story more endearing or impactful for the viewer.

Bottom Line – Intriguing idea that fails to work very well because the film is one long running joke and fails to have any heart. Keaton is his usual self in the lead and unfortunately doesn’t manage to dazzle with this kind of role that he has played so many other times both prior to this film and afterwards. The characters of the American team of workers and the Japanese management all feel like caricatures and the failure to develop any of them on a deeper level really hurts this film too much. The film has its moments, but they are few and far between and don’t find a way to be more impactful in all that they do.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Toyota later used the film as an example of how not to manage Americans. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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2 thoughts on “Gung Ho (1986)

  1. I liked the movie well enough upon first release, but I can imagine that it hasn’t held up very well. For all of its underwritten and stereotyped characters, the one who got on my nerves the most was Mimi Rogers (a/k/a the first Mrs. Tom Cruise) as Michael Keaton’s girlfriend. She was so shrill, self-righteous, and unsupportive of him, you kept thinking he’d be better off without her. George Wendt (of “Cheers”), however, was hilarious.

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  2. Pingback: American Factory (2019) | MovieRob

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