American lawyer Jack Moore is in Beijing on what looks to be a successful business trip for his company to enter into a film and television distribution deal with the Chinese government, their main competitor for that distribution deal being HoffCo Telecom out of Germany. Before Jack's boss David McAndrews and the Chinese government sign on the dotted line of the contract, Jack is implicated in a murder, the victim who was discovered in his hotel room. The police were alerted to an incident in his hotel room based on the report of hearing a scream emanating from his room, such a scream which Jack, asleep in the room when the police entered, did not hear. Jack being charged with murder quashes the distribution deal, which instead is awarded to HoffCo. The situation is made all the worse for Jack due to the known connections between the victim and people within high places in China, who may try to manipulate the situation to see Jack sentenced to death for the murder. Jack also has ...Written by
As of 2020, this is the last American film to take a strong stance against the Chinese government. Since that time, studios have avoided controversial topics in order to attract Chinese audiences, and in some cases had to make sure their films promoted Chinese nationalism. 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 »
Video clip of "Fever"
Performed by Madonna
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc. See more »
I came across this movie on Hulu last night by accident, after failing to stream two other movies, and am overall glad I decided to "settle" for it. It definitely could have been better in several ways, but the historical/legal aspect of it, set in transitional 90's Communist China is actually pretty outstanding and memorable. As one other user commented, the Chinese acting is perfectly convincing and even frightening in how realistic it is, but unfortunately Richard Gere's character is a little too...I don't know, idiotic? for my liking. Still, I wouldn't say he single-handedly ruined the movie.
Reading the production notes and trivia on here is interesting to me because it shows how the producers really did capture the reality of what goes on in Red China. I visited all over China and Lhasa, Tibet, right after the olympics and can vouch that the same legal situation still exists there today. In Beijing, we drove by a large, concrete and windowless court-building with the CCP emblem (seen many times in the film, and omnipresent in China in general) and when asked what the building was, my tour guide just responded plainly, "That's where you go to die."
For a foreigner, yeah, it might take a murder or espionage charge to keep you imprisoned indefinitely over there, but for Chinese citizens, many crimes are still punishable by execution without a fair trial, just as the film accurately portrays.
So, if you're into Chinese history or culture, then this is definitely worth watching, even more than once. If not, then don't watch it.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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