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Shanghai (2010)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  17 June 2010 (China)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 6,798 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 47 critic

A '40s period piece which revolves around an American expat who returns to Shanghai in the months before Pearl Harbor due to the death of his friend.

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Title: Shanghai (2010)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Anna Lan-Ting (as Gong Li)
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Anthony Lan-Ting (as Chow Yun-Fat)
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Richard Astor
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Tanaka
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Leni Müller
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Conner
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Ben Sanger
Yuan On ...
Yuan
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Chen
...
Juso Kita
...
Karl Müller
...
Mikey
...
Ralph
...
Billy
Edit

Storyline

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 Marisa_Gabriella

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world filled with secrets, solving a mystery can be murder.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some drug use and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 June 2010 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Shanhai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cusack said once he heard the filmmakers were interested in casting him, he aggressively lobbied for the part. See more »

Quotes

Paul Soames: Conner and I had joined the Navy like our fathers and grandfathers before us. Our lives were set. Birth, school, Yale, war. The great American tradition.
See more »

Soundtracks

Sentimental Serenade
Composed and Arranged by Stephen Edwards
Courtesy Really Tall Tunes
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User Reviews

 
Great production values but a hollow core
4 September 2012 | by (Shanghai, PRC) – See all my reviews

This is a fascinating movie in many ways, not least for its partially successful elucidation of a particularly dark period in Shanghai's colourful history. However, "Shanghai" comes across all too often as a confused mish-mash of other movies - Casablanca and The Third Man both spring rather too readily to mind - while offering little of its own in the way of an original plot or any intriguing character arcs.

Solid acting work all 'round. Franka Potente is probably the most watchable of the actors here, despite being less toothsome than Gong Li (who looks every bit her age in this movie but is still ravishingly attractive).

There are a few intriguing glimpses of Shanghai as it might have been in the early 40s, including one particularly well-recreated crane shot of the Bund - although I have to say the ships look just a tad too close to the imposing British-built buildings lining that famous boulevard. There's another shot from inside the Cusack character's hotel room showing a few of Shanghai's classic buildings through the window, clearly digitally composited as those particular buildings could never have been viewed that way from the one vantage point.

However, it seems (judging from the credits) that the vast majority of this movie was shot in Thailand, and thus most of the street scenes and interiors are fairly generic and not particularly evocative of Shanghai's history. For a much better rendition of this you need to have a look at Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" which treads similar territory (Shanghai, spies, Japanese occupation etc) with much more style.

Indeed I find myself wondering why this movie was made at all, given that pretty much 100% of its thematic territory had been covered by Lee's movie just a couple of years before, and with considerably more chutzpah.

Nevertheless...if you're a fan of any of these actors, it's worth a look.


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