Empire of the Sun Review by Sputnik

Based on J.G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun stars Christian Bale as a spoiled young British boy, living with his wealthy family in pre-World War II Shanghai. During the Japanese invasion, Bale is separated from his parents. With the help of soldier-of-fortune John Malkovich, Bale learns to survive without a retinue of servants at his beck and call. By the time Malkovich and Bale are tossed into a Japanese prison camp, the boy has picked up enough street-smarts and developed enough intestinal fortitude to regard his imprisonment as an exciting adventure. The story ends during the 1945 liberation: on the verge of manhood, the 13-year-old Bale will never again be the pampered, privileged brat whom we met in the early scenes.

Christian Bale is very good as Jamie/Jim and the movie shows that he was always an excellent actor even from such an young age. Unfortunately many of his scenes are ridiculous. John Malkovich was good as Basie but we never know his backstory or his intentions. The rest of the cast is ok.

The Cinematography and the art direction are very good. The movie was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Sound.

Its one of the worst movies ever. Its boring and too long. Spielberg’s direction is horrible. Its such a wannabe epic. Its like Spielberg wanted to make the greatest movie ever but unfortunately the screenplay is horrible. Many scenes and many of Jim’s actions don’t even make sense.

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