Steven Spielberg's film "Empire Of The Sun" is an inspiring action-packed epic of a small boy in a great war. That boy is Jim Graham, a young Briton whose unconquerable spirit soars high and free above the harsh confines of a Japanese internment camp during World War 2. Through his eyes we see the fascination and horror of war. And we see a child's hold onto childhood weaken as his struggle to survive grows fiercer.
Christian Bale has become a reasonable actor as an adult but as a boy he was not exceptional. To have a film in which a boy actor is rarely out of shot results in a seriously dull portrayal of the Japanese occupation of China. The over-privileged Brits in the middle of Shanghai is a little awkward. But that is about as moving as it gets. Malkovich is good as an American chancer but the character is a little unbelievable, taking clubbings in his stride. Although there are plenty of celebs in the cast the direction is amateur and does not do them justice.