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Midnight Eagle

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Midnight Eagle
Directed by Izuru Narushima
Strand Releasing
Opens November 23, ImaginAsian

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Disenchanted after seeing a child killed in the Middle East, war photographer Yuji Nishizaki (Takao Osawa) retires to the Northern Alps of Japan, where he chances upon the eponymously code-named American stealth bomber crash-landing on a nearby snowcap. Based on Tetsuo Takashima's novel and boasting the full cooperation of Japan's Ministry of Defense, director Izuru Narushima's convoluted action saga is a weirdly maudlin, counterintuitive chase for the B-5's onboard MacGuffin: a live nuke on a countdown timer. Prime Minister Watarase orders two elite Ranger forces to scale the mountains; cut to our photog hero, untrained but able to spot both the good guys and heavily armed enemy soldiers (hinted to be North Koreans), all in white camouflage, in the snow. Meanwhile, Nishizaki's estranged sister-in-law (Yuko Takeuchi), a journalist, is in her own correlating procedural as she tries to unearth a related set of suppressed truths involving a microchip in a locket or something. Given that its $10 million worth of blizzardly widescreen glory easily looks like 20, it's frustrating that Midnight Eagleis more concerned with puffed-up nationalist pride than logic. How did five characters' paths all converge at the exact same minute anyway?

 
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