Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Shanghai (2010)


Tagline: In a world filled with secrets, solving a mystery can be murder.
Cusack plays: Secret agent/journalist Paul Soames

I'm back! Over a year since my last review I have returned to the Cusack Challenge as there are new films to be watched. And even though I've been away its good to know some things never change - Cusack will be there playing a writer, in a suit, standing in the rain. Starting to wonder if these things are contractual...


Shanghai sees Cusack's Paul Soames travelling to Shanghai ("the Paris of the Orient") in the months before Pearl Harbour, initially planning to meet up with a friend/fellow naval intelligence agent, but upon hearing of the friend's murder starts digging into who did it and why. Working undercover as a journalist (his editor being the Earl of Grantham from Downton Abbey!) he falls in with local crime lord (Chow Yun-Fat) and his wife (Gong Li). Tensions rise both personally and politically...

This film seems to be aiming for a detective/crime/noir from the 40s or 50s vibe, down to the Cusack voiceover - "Connor was a lot of things, but he wasn't a fool". It's partially successful - I wasn't sure where the plot was going - problem being I didn't really care all that much either. Things only get really entertaining in the last 20 or so minutes when the action is ramped up and the guns , explosions and scenes in the rain kick in.

Would I recommend you see it? Nope, not really...