Can anyone play gruff, grizzly, still kind of endearing but totally standoffish better than Tommy Lee Jones? For this writer, he pretty much walked away with Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” as the idealistic yet conflicted Thaddeus Stevens (equally awesome was James Spader, but that’s for a whole different article). Not to knock the man’s talents, but he does pretty much the same characterization in another war movie, the upcoming “Emperor,” this time as General Douglas McArthur. And now the first trailer is here to show you what it’s all about.
Co-starring Matthew Fox, and directed by Peter Webber (“The Girl With the Pearl Earring,” “Hannibal Rising“), the film follows General Bonner Fellows who sets out to suggest to General McArthur how America should handle Japan at the end of WWII, particularly in regards to Emperor Hirohito, Japan’s wartime leader, who some believe should be prosecuted and hanged for war crimes. But the task isn’t made easy as Bonners is distracted by his search for the Japanese girl he fell in love with back in the United States before the war.
We caught the film at the very, very tail end of TIFF where it played in a tiny room to the few journalists left in town. Not surprisingly, besides Jones’ performance, “The Emperor” is simply not very good. We wrote in our review that the film “delivers a perfectly serviceable wartime movie, with its intentions in the right place. At the same time its harmlessness and adherence to a formulaic storytelling style means the film has no voice of its own and at its worst can feel like the cinematic equivalent of making sure you get enough fiber in your diet.”
Take a look at the trailer, along with the first clip that was released last year, in case you missed it. And as a bonus, here’s a great gif of Jones throwing mad shade at the Golden Globes.