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Gung Ho - Movie Review

Essay by   •  July 15, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  624 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,307 Views

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Gung Ho begins with Hunt, a former foreman at the local plant, on his way to Japan to try to get a Japanese auto maker, Assan, to take over the plant so that the town can survive. As Hunt tries to find his way through Tokyo, we see a young Japanese man being ridiculed for being a failure. He stumbles through his presentation, making awkward jokes while the board members of the automaker sit through it stone-faced. Upon his return home he thinks he failed his town because he feels that he messed up the presentation, but he soon finds out that they agreed to come and take over the plant.

The workers assume that everything will return to how things were run before but they are in for a surprise. When the new plant management team arrives, led by Mr. Kazuhiro, the workers find out that things are going to be run a little differently. The big one is that they will be making less than they were making. On their very first morning, they Japanese managers "try" to lead them through a morning exercise, but the American workers just laugh at them. They also find out that they will not be working at the same stations that they were comfortable and "the best" at, they will be rotated around to learn the other stations. The standards set by Assan are very high; from the quality of the craftsmanship on the autos, the efficiency of the work hours (no music, no reading, can't take time off).

Hunt is made the employee liaison between the American workers and the Japanese management. He tries to play both sides of the fence, doing what the owners want but still trying to make it seem like he is looking out for his buddies. When Kazuhiro accuses the Americans of being lazier than Japanese, Hunt makes a deal that the plant can be as productive as the best plant in Japan. If the workers can build 15,000 cars in 30 days, then more jobs will be made and everyone will make what they were making before the plant was acquired by Assan.

When he goes to tell the workers about this great "deal" they don't see it as such. With the crowd pressuring him that that is TOO many cars in such a short time frame, he lies and says that if they can complete 13,000 then they would get a partial raise. Over the next month he pleads with the workers to complete the full quota, but they seem to be perfectly happy shooting for that partial raise, which doesn't exist.

Eventually the truth comes out and the workers strike. Assan decides to pull out, which could mean the end of the town. Hunt accuses the Americans of not having the work ethic that the Japanese do and that is why they are leaving the plant. In the end, Hunt teams up with Kazuhiro, who is trying to show his boss that he is not the failure that we saw at the beginning of the movie. They both go to the plant to attempt to finish their goal, they only need 1000 more. Eventually the workers come back to help and work alongside the rest

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