Rising Sun (film)
The movie poster for Rising Sun
|Directed by||Philip Kaufman|
|Produced by||Peter Kaufman|
|Based on||Rising Sun
by Michael Crichton
|Music by||Tōru Takemitsu|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$107.2 million|
Rising Sun is a 1993 American crime film written and directed by Philip Kaufman, starring Sean Connery (who was also an executive producer), Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Michael Crichton and Michael Backes wrote the screenplay, based on Crichton's novel of the same name.
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During a commencement gala at the newly opened Los Angeles headquarters of Nakamoto, a Japanese keiretsu, a professional escort named Cheryl Lynn Austin (Tatjana Patitz) is found dead, apparently after a violent sexual encounter. Police Detectives Web Smith (Wesley Snipes) and John Connor (Sean Connery), a former police captain and expert on Japanese affairs, are sent to act as liaison between the Japanese executives and the investigating officer, Smith's former partner Tom Graham (Harvey Keitel). During the initial investigation, Connor and Smith review security footage taped by hidden surveillance cameras, and realize that one of the laserdiscs is missing.
Smith and Connor suspect Eddie Sakamura (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), a sleazy yakuza playboy and Cheryl's boyfriend of killing her, and interrogate him at a house party. Sakamura promises to bring Connor something, and Connor reluctantly lets him go after confiscating his passport, due to his father having saved his life in Japan years ago. Ishihara, a Nakamoto employee whom Connor had previously interrogated, delivers the missing laserdisc, which clearly shows Sakamura killing Cheryl. Graham and Smith lead a SWAT raid on Sakamura's house. He tries to flee in a sports car, but crashes it into oncoming traffic and is killed.
Smith learns that Sakamura had attempted to contact him moments before the raid about the missing laserdisc, and with Connor takes the disc to an expert, Jingo Asakuma (Tia Carrere), who reveals that disc is copy and has been digitally altered to implicate Sakamura in the murder.
Nakamoto is in the midst of sensitive negotiations for the acquisition of an American software company, with Senator John Morton (Ray Wise), a guest at the party, abruptly changing his stance on a bill that would prevent the merger from going through. Suspecting his sudden shift is somehow related to the murder, Connor and Smith attempt to interview him at his campaign office, but without much success. Upon returning to Smith's apartment, the duo find Sakamura alive and well. He reveals that he was being tailed that day by Tanaka (Clyde Kusatsu), a Nakamoto security agent attempting to locate the original disc. Not wanting to be seen with Sakamura, Tanaka stole his sports car and committed suicide by crashing it. Eddie gives Connor the original, unaltered security footage, but before he can leave, Lt. Graham arrives with Ishihara, revealing the two to be in cahoots. Sakamura is killed trying to fight off Ishihara's men, and Smith is shot and left for dead, surviving only thanks to a bulletproof vest.
After being interrogated all night, Smith is put on paid leave due to an ongoing investigation of an earlier corruption charge. Regrouping with Connor and Jingo, the three view the original surveillance footage, which shows Senator Morton performing erotic asphyxiation on Cheryl while Sakamura looks on. Falsely believing to have killed her, Morton changes his stance on the regulation bill to stay in Nakamoto's good graces. After leaving the boardroom, the footage shows an unknown figure approaching and killing Cheryl by strangulation.
Hoping to draw the killer out, Connor and Smith send fax Morton stills of the footage showing his implicit involvement in the murder. Panicking, Morton contacts Ishihara, revealing the executive to be in on the cover-up as well. Morton commits suicide, and Connor, Smith, and Jingo interrupt the merger negotiations to show Nakamoto President Yoshida (Mako Iwamatsu), the surveillance footage. Bob Richmond (Kevin Anderson), an American lawyer working for Nakamoto, reveals himself as the killer and tries to run away, only to be drowned in wet cement by Sakamura's friends.
Yoshida maintains his and his colleagues innocence, quietly exiling Ishihara to a desk job back in Japan. Smith drives Jingo home, where she casts doubt on whether Richmond was really the murderer, or if he was simply taking the fall to protect someone higher up in the organization.
- Sean Connery as Capt. John Connor, a Scottish-born cultural liaison to the Japanese and a former Police Captain
- Wesley Snipes as Lt. Webster "Web" Smith, an LAPD police detective and Connor's partner
- Harvey Keitel as Lt. Tom Graham, a fervently xenophobic LAPD officer and Smith's immediate superior
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Edward "Eddie" Sakamura, a wealthy yakuza playboy and the only son of a powerful Japanese businessman
- Kevin Anderson as Bob Richmond, an American lawyer working on behalf of Nakamoto
- Mako as Yoshida-san, the President of the Nakamoto Corporation
- Ray Wise as Senator John Morton, the corrupt California State senator embroiled in the cover-up
- Stan Egi as Masao Ishihara, a high-ranking Nakamoto employee and aide to Yoshida-san
- Stan Shaw as Phillips
- Tia Carrere as Jingo Asakuma, a Japanese-American computer expert with a deformed hand
- Steve Buscemi as Willy "The Weasel" Wilhelm, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times
- Tatjana Patitz as Cheryl Lynn Austin, a former factory worker from Kentucky and Eddie's mistress
- Clyde Kusatsu as Shoji Tanaka, a security operative working for Nakamoto
- Michele Ruiz as Television Interviewer
- Tadashi Yamashita as the Nakamoto Head of Security
- Yuji Okumoto as Eddie's Yakuza
Box office performance
Rising Sun was released on 30 July 1993 in 1,510 theaters across the US. It grossed $15,195,941 (24.1% of total gross) on its opening weekend. During its run in theaters, the film grossed $63,179,523 (58.9%) in the US and $44,019,267 (41.1%) overseas for a worldwide total of $107,198,790. The film spent six weeks in the Top 10.
Awards and critical reception
Rising Sun won the ASCAP Award in the category of Top Box Office Films in 1994, and was nominated for a PFS Award in the category for best Exposé in 1994.
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- "Rising Sun". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
- Variety film review; August 2, 1993.
- Fox, David J. (1993-08-02). "'Sun' Rises Over 'Justice'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Schickel, Richard (1993-08-02). "Cultural Confusions". Time. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "Cross-Cultural Crime Story". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- "Rising Sun". Washington Post. 1993-07-30. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- Dutka, Elaine (1992-03-08). "OFF-CENTERPIECE : MOVIES : Hollywood Scared of the Japanese? (You Say They Like This Movie?!)". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
- Rising sun at Rotten Tomatoes
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