Director: Hossein Amini
Casts: Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Chow Yun Fat, John Cussack
Taking place in Shanghai, 1942, Shanghai is divided into several concession areas, where people from many nations gathered. An American journalist, Paul Soames (John Cussack) just arrived there from Berlin, to meet his friend, Conner who is spying for American intel.
When Connor is killed, Soames tried to find out who killed him and why. On his investigation, Soames met a very beautiful woman, Anna Lan-Ting, the wife of a famous triad leader Anthony Lan-Ting. From the accidental friendship between them, Soames found a lot of dangerous facts Anna was hiding from everyone. The secret wasn’t only endangering her life, but also his life too.
I put my expectation really high when I read the name on the cast list. I am a big fan of Chow Yun Fat and Ken Watanabe who recently played brilliantly on the phenomenal movie Inception.
Using the historical background for the story, it promised me a really good show. I was prepared to enjoy a lot of action, but I was surprised with so many thrilling suspension on the movie. But somehow the drama was just too much, I was a bit disturbed with too many love scene which I don’t think fit in the storyline. Maybe, if the movie was focused only on history and crime, it would be really great.
I can understand that the movie didn’t focus on the visual effects, because it is not an action movie actually. I think the visual effect is realistic enough for me. But when I like best was the property design. They actually make an old Shanghai, and brought the 40’s back! I love the property.
Although John Cussack us , I guess the leading actor, but I don’t think he played the best performance. I don’t think he fits the character of Paul Soames, very different from the other three actors who fit in their character. But overall, the performance of every actors is good. At least their actings can bring the feel of the movie, I actually hold my breath while watching the movie because of the excitement.
The movie is very recommended, especially for those who like movies which use the historical background.