"Empire of the Sun" is about a young British boy, Jamie (or "Jim" as his American friends call him) who gets separated from his parents during the Japanese occupation of China. Eventually he ends up in an internment camp where he lives for the next several years. The movie follows Jim throughout his experiences, while using the war as a backdrop. It's not a movie about the war, it's a movie about people during the war.
Jim is played by a very young Christian Bale, who does a phenomenal job. At first, I didn't really like his character. He grew up very privileged and acted like it. He felt he was "above" the hired Chinese help and was just sort of a brat in general. But then you have to think, this is how he grew up. He doesn't really know any better. Over the course of the film, he really matures and becomes much more likable.
And I totally cried a the end (during SEVERAL parts!). It's a very emotional movie, but then most war movies focused on children are (ever seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?? Don't watch that on an airplane. Everyone will look at you weird when you're crying your eyes out).
-Ben Stiller has a very small part as an American at the camp. I had to look it up to make sure it was him, but sure enough, it was!
-Also, apparently Ben Stiller got the idea for Tropic Thunder while filming this movie.
-Christian Bale kinda looks exactly the same now as he did then.
4.5/5 stars. I really liked this movie! It was very well done and well acted.