The historical drama "Emperor" had a lot of potential to offer. Had. Great setting, great back story, major Hollywood actors...what could possibly go wrong?
Ah, yes. It's the script. The script was so poorly written that the romance substory eclipses the movie title's namesake, which is about the Japanese Imperial Family itself. Only later do I found out that General Bonner Fellers had actually been happily married to an American woman since 1925. Hence, even the romance substory might have been a complete hogwash.
I also think that the romance substory between an American soldier and a Japanese woman might be an attempt by the director or the scriptwriter to present symbolism of their respective countries...one survived the war, and the other didn't.
The only saving grace of the movie is the fact that the setting of the location (shot almost entirely in New Zealand) is beautifully made. The setting is reminiscent of that of the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers". The atmosphere shows a nation scarred beyond recognition: from the common people in rags to the featureless ruins.
Matthew Fox, who is more known as Jack from "LOST", also enforces his onscreen image as a leader with Messiah complex who wants to save everyone despite the fact that his character himself is lost beyond saving. But his acting is solid., and so is Tommy Lee Jones'.