Gung Ho

Many movies have been made about the rank and file. This comedy directed by Howard tries to plumb the same genre but comes up short. The attempt at whimsy disintegrates into smart-aleck-ism, and the result is only a middling-good picture. Hadleyville, Pennsylvania, is a pleasant little one-industry burg that has gone straight down since its car factory...read more

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Many movies have been made about the rank and file. This comedy directed by Howard tries to plumb the same genre but comes up short. The attempt at whimsy disintegrates into smart-aleck-ism, and the result is only a middling-good picture. Hadleyville, Pennsylvania, is a pleasant little

one-industry burg that has gone straight down since its car factory closed. Keaton, a former employee, has been deputized by the jobless to go to Japan to talk some auto executives into considering the downsliding town for an automaking site. Despite a near screw-up by Hunt, the Japanese choose

Hadleyville as their location, and Hunt is acclaimed as conquering hero. But the meeting of East and West does not go smoothly. The Japanese are of the opinion that all the workers should be dealt with in the same fashion, but Keaton argues that Americans like to think of themselves as

individuals. GUNG HO swings from reality to farce to even a bit of choreographed assembly-line footage as the cars are being put together. Keaton is lovable, as usual, but he comes across as a dumb jerk. This was an obvious attempt at 1930s-type social comedy. Social it may have been; comedic it

wasn't. Still, it was pleasant enough for 111 minutes.

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