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Rising Sun

"Rising Sun" on DVD

Crichton-crafted Connery

Michael Crichton's "Rising Sun" is a techno-thriller based upon his novel of the same name. That book was also a cautionary tale about Americans selling out their birthright to foreign interests, as well as a supposed wake up call to Japanese hardball business tactics.

A lot of the harder edge has been removed from the book for Philip Kaufman's movie version, but it ends up making the movie a more straightforward action-thriller and this makes it work better as a movie.

Wesley Snipes plays Web Smith, a liaison officer with the LAPD who's called to a murder scene at the grand opening of an ultra-lush Japanese corporate tower. On his way to the gig, he's told to pick up an associate, who turns out to be John Conner (Sean Connery), a crusty veteran who's rumored to be more on side with the Japanese than his own (presumably adopted) people.

Once Connery's on the scene he takes over, much to Snipes' chagrin. It's best the way, of course, 'cause Connery really does have a better handle on the situation and manages it better. Besides, he's a bigger star...

The plot turns out to be a lot more than a straightforward murder mystery. It's part corporate espionage, part political corruption, part culture clash, and in the end it's a good flick that keeps you interested while giving some great insight into how sophisticated today's technology has become - and why photos shouldn't be allowed as evidence in court any more.

The cast does a good job. Connery is, well, Connery, and Snipes is appropriately hot headed and frustrated at having to kowtow to the old fart about whom he knows nothing. The supporting cast, including Harvey Keitel, Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Tia Carrere is also very good.

The widescreen DVD is Dolby 5.0 surround and audio/video quality are very good. You don't get a lot of extras, just the theatrical trailer, chapter stops, and a bit of cast info. Our review copy was a pre-release screener, which doesn't have the final packaging, so we can't tell you the status of liner notes etc.

Rising, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
129 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tia Carrere
Produced by Peter Kaufman, Screenplay by Philip Kaufman and Michael Crichton & Michael Backes
Directed by Philip Kaufman


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Updated May 13, 2006