An American man returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months before Pearl Harbor and discovers his friend has been killed. While he unravels the mysteries of the death, he falls in love and discovers a much larger secret. Written by
Somebody saw Ang Lee's "Lust/Caution" and sold the idea of making a similar film in English with an all-star cast.
As my movie-making friends say, "Nobody starts out to make a bad film, but it happens a lot" This isn't a horrible film, it's just bad. Historically inaccurate with holes in the plot you could drive a Japanese tank through and a cast that just seems to be going through the motions.
The first hour is bearable and then things go all to pot as one unbelievable thing after another fills the screen. Gong Li is the only cast member who does a credible job. This may be the first John Cusack vehicle I haven't liked, to say nothing of Ken Watanabe and Chow Yun Fat.
It's no wonder, it spent 2 years in editing. It boggles the mind to imagine what the editors left out. Definitely not worth leaving the house to see. If you hanker to see one director's idea of what Shanghai looked like in 1941, rent the DVD. Otherwise "fuggedaboutit"!
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