When an escort girl is found dead in the offices of a Japanese company in Los Angeles, detectives Web Smith and John Connor act as liaison between the company's executives and the investigating cop Tom Graham.
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At the offices of a Japanese corporation, during a party, a woman, who's evidently a professional mistress, is found dead, apparently after some rough sex. A police detective, Web Smith is called in to investigate but before getting there, he gets a call from someone who instructs him to pick up John Connor, a former police Captain and expert on Japanese affairs. When they arrive there Web thinks that everything is obvious but Connor tells him that there's a lot more going on.Written by
There is a credit in Rising Sun thanking "The MIT Leg Lab" and "Marc Raibert and his Running Team." This refers to a short scene where the two detectives go out to a fancy-looking research lab (really a water treatment plant; also used as the set for Starfleet Academy on the TV series "Star Trek - The Next Generation). In the background of some of the shots there are two legged robots: one hopping in a circle in a tea-house; the other bouncing up a garden path. These robots are actually academic research projects from the MIT AI Lab's Legged Locomotion Lab. They really do hop about and maintain their balance. Power comes from off-board hydraulic pumps (hence the guy in the background (me!) pulling hoses for the robot), and body attitude is sensed with gyroscopes. A human with a joystick tells the robot what direction to go, and the control algorithms (which are the real subject of Leg Lab research) maintain speed, direction, and balance. However, the robots aren't designed for special effects. They're always being modified, and they tend to break down frequently. This made shooting in the hot july sun of the San Fernando Valley a real nightmare, with transputers crashing in the heat, stuck gyros, and hydraulic leaks. Three grad students and a professor worked steadily for about a month before Hollywood, and then five days on the set and on location to get the robots in about 15 seconds of film. The credits are: Marc Raibert (our prof), and Charles Francois, Rob Playter and Lee Campbell (me) who are students. We three students appear in the film in white lab coats acting like Robot Scientists!! See more »
A solid, enjoyable film whose pace covers it despite plot holes the heavy cast also make it worth seeing
During a high level executive meeting between a Japanese corporation and an US weapons contractor a young woman is found murdered. Due to his connections Captain John Connor is sent to lead the investigation with Lt Web Smith. The investigation is immediately hindered by the Japanese culture, the shadowy business figures and political pressures, however before long Connor and Smith are presented with a cctv disk that shows the murder being carried out by a known suspect. When the suspect dies in a chase the investigation seems over but a closer investigation of the evidence shows that the case is far from closed.
Not being a real big fan of Michael Crichton, I wasn't sure how I'd like this film I'm not a big traveler and don't buy my books in the airport when I do travel! It was apt then, that I wasn't overly taken by the plot here and felt that its pace was more responsible for it being an enjoyable thriller than any great skill in the writing. In its essence the glossy story takes in technology, big business, Japanese cool and political goings-on all these and other things combining to mean that it moves well and is consistently busy. This is not to suggest that it all fits together because it doesn't; the plot has holes and lose strands within it that distract if you think too much about it happily its pace and revelations did not give me too long to linger over these and I managed to enjoy it, the problems being forgotten in all the gloss.
On top of this gloss is piled a cast that is worth seeing no matter what they are doing together, and their presence and ability further cover for a plot that doesn't always serve its many characters as well as they deserve. Connery has fun in the sort of role he seems to greatly favour now distinguished, wise men of age who can still dish it out if need be. He is easy to watch and only at times does he feel like he's forcing it (like when he suddenly shouts). Snipes does not look as confident but that may be because his 'look' has dated here and changed since 1993. However he is still good and has his moments despite being given a rather secondary role to Connery's. It the support cast that surprised me though so many well known faces in supporting or minor roles. Keitel is very good, playing an interesting character that goes nowhere but is still interesting and well delivered; Tagawa is gifted a fuller role than he often gets and does well with it. Wise is OK but he forces it and didn't convince me as much as I would have liked still did the job asked of him though. People like Mako, Carrere, von Bargen and Buscemi all add depth and make the film feel fuller than it is even with some small (and perhaps unnecessary?) characters.
Overall this is a slick and enjoyable film even if it is as much style and pace as it is substance. The plot doesn't totally fit together but its mix of techno-conspiracy, political plotting, sex and intrigue all keep it moving along enjoyably enough and the impressive and rather charismatic cast only help to make it feel all the slicker. Worth a watch even if some may find it a little inconsequential in regards some bits of plotting.
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