Gung Ho

1986

Comedy / Drama

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 11711

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 07, 2020 at 02:24 PM

Director

Cast

Mimi Rogers as Audrey
Michael Keaton as Hunt Stevenson
John Turturro as Willie
Clint Howard as Paul
720p.WEB
1 GB
1280*528
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 4 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal 7 / 10

What a time capsule! ...

... and I'll get to how it is a time capsule in a moment.

Directed by Ron Howard, the film is about a Japanese car company that decides to buy up a shuttered American car factory in a town where it was the major source of employment. There is friction because of the numerous cultural/work culture differences between the Japanese management and the American workers. The main work problem is that the Japanese think "team" and the American workers on the line are individualists. Michael Keaton stars as Hunt Stevenson, who is promoted to liason between the American workers and the Japanese management. His problem is that he doesn't want to tell the unvarnished truth to the workers, and this gets him into trouble when he tells a lie he just can't take back that could mean the end of the plant. Gedde Watanabe plays the Japanese manager of the plant who is trying to go against his nature of caring about the home life of the workers and be "tough" so that the factory will be considered a success by the CEO back in Japan. Eventually he and Hunt form a friendship of sorts.

George Wendt of "Cheers" fame plays a worker who gets demoted to janitor. John Turturro is practically unrecognizable as another factory worker in a small part before the Coen brothers discovered him. If Ron Howard is directing then Clint Howard is not far away, usually playing a bit part, and that is true here too. Oh, if you are expecting the Michael Keaton of Birdman and Spotlight, then you are in for a surprise. This is the rather smart mouth character Keaton started out playing in the early 80s. Think of Bill Blazejowski of 1982's "Night Shift" (also directed by Ron Howard) but with a much bigger I.Q.

Why is this a time capsule and will probably be hard for you to find? When the American workers get angry they refer to their Japanese bosses with terms such as "rice a roni". Also, when Michael Keaton goes up to see the boss he refers to his Japanese secretary as "sugar puss". He isn't flirting, but that still would never make the grade in an American film today. George Wendt's character gets drunk and basically bullies and harasses the big boss' wife in a supermarket one day. Everybody just writes the episode off as the guy being angry about his demotion, as though that is acceptable behavior! It's just funny to have seen this in the theater back in 1986 and realize how much times have changed.

I'd recommend it as a great look back and as a comedic take on some of the economic issues confronting Americans in the 1980s. That decade was not as prosperous and carefree as you might have been led to believe.

Reviewed by NJ_jimcat 8 / 10

Welcome Back to the Lost World of the 80's.

Sherman, set the wayback machine for... 1986. The United States was just climbing out of its worst postwar recession, while Japan was enjoying an unprecedented industrial boom. Manufacturing industries were still a significant part of the US economy, and factory workers were a good example of the "average American". The word "downsizing" hadn't entered the general vocabulary yet, but everyone knew the phenomenon. Bruce could be heard on the radio singing, "Foreman says these jobs are going, boy, and they ain't coming back to your hometown." Chrysler had just been bailed out by Uncle Sam. Bumper stickers could be seen saying "Buy American -- the job you save may be your own."

"Gung Ho" does a better job of capturing the mood of the American industrial workforce than just about any other popular movie made during that period. Certainly the movie has its flaws -- some loose plot threads and mediocre acting jobs by everyone except Michael Keaton and Gedde Watanabe. But the story really is about the meeting of East and West: Keaton's Hunt Stevenson personifies America, brash and confident on the outside yet insecure underneath. Watanabe's Kazuhiro personifies Japan, on top of the heap with a successful system, but wondering if there is more to be learned from their Western rivals. The movie's plot, flawed as it is, simply provides a framework for the conflict, and eventually synthesis, of their two personalities.

Keaton's acting overshadows everyone else's, and practically makes the movie by itself. I've always admired Keaton for his ability to deliver lines that feel improvised, no matter what script he's following. His character, Hunt Stevenson, is a likable, affable everyman, a natural leader with a wise-ass streak. But he has a fatal flaw common to many of us: he doesn't want to disappoint anyone. He'll distract the crowd with inspirational anecdotes, and even lie, rather than point out the ugly truth.

Kazuhiro is the mirror image of Stevenson: shy and introspective, but also, because of his Japanese upbringing, reluctant to be the bearer of bad news. The scene in which Stevenson first comes to Kazuhiro with the employees' grievances captures perfectly the Japanese approach to workplace conflict. Kazuhiro replies to Stevenson's complaints with "I understand what you are saying," but won't refuse his requests out loud. Stevenson misinterprets this as agreement, and goes away saying, "Okay, we've got that settled." (This is still a problem in Japanese-American business relations in the 21st century!)

Ultimately, Kazuhiro and Stevenson have the same problem: get the factory working smoothly, meet production goals, and fulfill their responsibility to the workers under them. In working towards this goal, they each have to take a page from the others' book. Kazuhiro's family becoming more "Americanized" is an obvious example. Also note that Stevenson thinks it's odd when Kazuhiro explains how he had to make a public apology to his workers for failing them -- and yet, later in the movie, Stevenson does exactly that himself.

The plot and its resolution are a little cornball, but hey, this is a comedy. If you can overlook the movie's flaws, there is a great story about self-realization and open-mindedness here.

Reviewed by FunnyMann 7 / 10

Not edgy, but funny

Surprised to see the rather low score for this movie. Just saw this film for the first time in 10 years, and was reminded why I like it.

Come back with me, children, to a time when Michael Keaton was a straight-up comedy guy, and you might find some joy in this film. It's a gentle comedy -- the kind Ron Howard specializes in -- but if that's your thing, you should check this out. Keaton's low-key charm is just right for this project.

"Gung Ho" is a bit dated, because it takes places in the last stage of the pre-global economy world, when it still mattered what country a business was based in. That said, it delivers laughs as well as a lesson on how people can learn from each other, to great benefit.

You could watch this film and enjoy it without remembering one scene in particular you really liked, but that's because the whole movie provides a slow but constant stream of laughs. It's like an I.V. drip. And I mean that in a good way.

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