On the eve of a big US-Japan trade summit, a reporter gets a hot tip that the Japanese-American head of a big aerospace firm will be selling trade secrets to a Japanese contact. Intent on ... See full summary »
On the eve of a big US-Japan trade summit, a reporter gets a hot tip that the Japanese-American head of a big aerospace firm will be selling trade secrets to a Japanese contact. Intent on getting a scoop, the reporter hires private investigator John Blaylock to help her find out just what information is being handed over. In the course of snooping, the pair are discovered, but not before they learn that the Japanese contact is a member of the Yakuza. When the aerospace executive turns up dead after an apparent suicide, the investigators realize that some very big secrets are being kept by some very important people. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Thomas Ian Griffith stars as Jack Blayclock, a private detective who is hired by reporter Erica (Mary Page Keller) to do some snooping on a Japanese businessman, however when said businessman is found dead, Erica and Jack realize that there is far more that meets the eye and the people involved hit close to home for our duo. Thomas Ian Griffith is an actor who on the basis of this movie clearly had more potential than what he amounted to as an action star. I remember saying that Griffith resembled a used car salesman in Excessive Force, but here that sleazy look (Also put to good use in the entertaining Karate Kid Part III) is well suited and let it be said that the biggest surprise with this movie, isn't the action sequences or even what the material goes over.(It's nothing different then what you would find in Rising Sun) Rather the big surprise is just how much this works as a suspense thriller. Indeed the characters are believable, the Japan bashing and the politics depicting such are all credibly handled and when the fight sequences finally do happen they feel more exciting because we actually care about the characters and there are surprises that even this jaded viewer couldn't guess. Sure the main villain is an obvious answer, but the twisty narrative offers a good deal of suspense and the ending doesn't cop out on a downbeat ending. In other words this is a low budget movie with ambition, something often lacking in theatrical pictures of the day. (Even more so now.)Ulterior Motives is one obscurity that is well worth discovering.
* * *1/2 out of 4-(Very good)
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