Jack Moore is an American attorney having talks in Bejing about founding the first satellite TV joint venture. Suddenly he is arrested, accused of murder and has to prove it was a frame-up together with his court-appointed attorney Shen Yuelin.Written by
For the scene in which Jack is intimidated with video of a government execution, the filmmakers used actual execution footage which had been smuggled out of China. See more »
The closing scene of a Chinese airport reveals an American West 737. American West does not fly to China. See more »
When I was a child I would come to this park and play, and my grandmother would tell me why the bamboo was here. She said, it is waiting for the wind to touch it. It is filled with emotion. Listen to the sound, and you can feel that.
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The opening title is first displayed in Chinese "letters" (called hanzi) which then change into English. See more »
A Good - If Implausible - Story About Justice In China
Overall, this isn't a bad movie. It's a pretty decent courtroom drama - sort of "Law & Order Beijing." It's got a lot of suspense, and it provides a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of the Chinese justice system. I offer that last point with the proviso, of course, that the star of this movie is Richard Gere, and Gere is known for having a somewhat anti-Chinese (or, more accurately, anti-People's Republic of China) outlook. The view of China presented here is an ominous one - and that's not entirely fabricated. I travelled to China a few years ago. I never got in trouble with the law (thank goodness!) but still when you're walking through Tienanmen Square and a column of Chinese soldiers suddenly comes marching right toward you shouting at you, you know that the basic message (even though you don't speak Chinese) is "get out of the way or we'll trample you!" So, yes, even in completely unthreatening circumstances, there are vaguely threatening elements to being in China.
In this movie, Gere plays Jack Moore, an American businessman trying to close a deal in China, who picks up a girl at a nightclub. She ends up being murdered in his hotel room, he's the prime suspect and it's clear that "the system" has decided he's guilty before he even goes on trial and the court flat out refuses to hear any evidence that supports him and challenges the obviously pre-arranged verdict. How Moore can triumph over this system is the issue.
All that's pretty good. Gere's performance is good. The problem is the "one American man takes on the entire People's Republic of China" scenario. Yes, Moore had a court appointed defence lawyer (played by a young U.S. based Chinese actress named Ling Bai) who becomes increasingly sympathetic to him and wants to prove his innocence, but essentially Moore does it all himself. Even in the courtroom, he essentially takes over the case, questioning witnesses - even when his lawyer is there. That all was a bit too much, and it strained the movie's credibility too far. Still, it's an entertaining and suspenseful if perhaps implausible couple of hours.
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