Fukushima 50 Review: Ken Watanabe Leads Underwhelming Drama About The Heroes Of The 2011 Nuclear Disaster

The movie has great performances but it's no 'Chernobyl'.

Fukushima 50 (PG)

Starring Koichi Sato, Ken Watanabe

Directed by Setsuro Wakamatsu

Reverent but disappointing dramatisation of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station disaster and the hundreds of workers who stayed on to contain the triple reactor meltdown under the aegis of the dependable Ken Watanabe (as the plant superintendent) and Koichi Sato (as the shift supervisor) The title is the nickname given by the Western media for the heroic frontline personnel.

The movie starts off urgently but loses steam and focus (cue pace-stalling flashbacks!) mid-way and ends on a false celebratory note that doesn’t address the ecology devastation caused by the accident and the ongoing liability lawsuits filed against the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co and the Japanese government by the residents in the nearby towns who were evacuated.

Maybe one day the story will receive a more stirring treatment that it deserves a la the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. (**1/2)

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