34 user 22 critic

Formosa Betrayed (2009)

1:49 | Trailer
While unveiling a series of international conspiracies, an FBI agent is embroiled in a set of political intrigues.


Adam Kane


Will Tiao (story), Katie Swain (story) | 4 more credits »
3 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Van Der Beek ... Jake Kelly
Wendy Crewson ... Susan Kane
John Heard ... Tom Braxton
Will Tiao ... Ming
Tzi Ma ... Kuo
Leslie Hope ... Lisa Gilbert
Kenneth Tsang ... General Tse
Chelcie Ross ... Daltry
Mintita Wattanakul Mintita Wattanakul ... Maysing
Adam Wang ... Lee
Nirut Sirichanya ... Dr. Huang
Thienchai Jayasvasti Jr. Thienchai Jayasvasti Jr. ... Captain Chen (as Tom Jay)
Sahajak Boonthanakit ... Chief Loh
Pathomporn Tempark Pathomporn Tempark ... Ming's Wife
Napatcha Suthimaithee Napatcha Suthimaithee ... Ming's Daughter


In the early 1980s, an FBI Agent is assigned to investigate the murder of a respected professor. Through his investigation, he unearths a spider web of international secrets that has been thriving within college campuses across America for decades. His investigation takes him across the Pacific to the island nation of Taiwan, where with the help of the outspoken widow and an unlikely spy, he learns that the Professor's killing was not a random act, but a desperate move by a scandalous government intent on keeping its nefarious activities under wraps. Our detective soon finds himself on a collision course against the U.S. State Department, the Chinese Mafia, and the Nationalist Chinese Government - in a land where the truth is not what it seems and the only people he can trust, cannot be trusted at all. Inspired by actual events. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a search for Truth - a quest for Justice - a fight for Freedom



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The production team originally intended to film the movie in Taiwan, where the story is set, but ultimately settled on Thailand thanks to their already existing film friendly infrastructure. The producers also had concerns about recreating politically charged moments in Taiwan's history in public areas. See more »


The FBI only has jurisdiction outside the USA in very rare instances. For example, they typically need prior Congressional approval to arrest someone, mulch less conduct an investigation. See more »


Professor Henry Wen: We know there are agents sent by the Chiang government on every major university in the United States. I, too, am being watched.
See more »

User Reviews

A murder-mystery that offers an intriguing insight into the complexities and brutalities of Cold War relations between the US and Taiwan.
5 September 2009 | by eiggsmithSee all my reviews

I didn't know what to expect with this film. Murder-mysteries are not generally my thing, but this one pulled it off with a truly insightful look into Taiwan in the early 1980s. Objective viewers of this movie will appreciate its fresh perspective on a sometimes tired Cold War theme.

Rather than presenting a documentary explaining the compromising complexities of relations between the US and its less-than-democratic allies in Taiwan in their fight against the "Reds", Formosa Betrayed hooks the viewer with dramatic events that keep us waiting to peel away the layers of characters we see to figure out what's going on. In the process, we learn of their individual hardships, heartaches, and disillusionment; as well as their hope, courage, and betrayal. While the limited depth of some characters may leave viewers wanting more, the basic story keeps us captivated.

Formosa Betrayed does a good job of piecing together scenes in a modified chronology of events to provide an enticing but very smooth flow. Attention to details like uniforms, posters, architecture, and nature provides scenery that keeps us transported in the appropriate space in time. Combined with these elements is an excellent soundtrack that completes a well-done film.

While the story's plot - like its characters or the actors that played them - could have been sharpened to provide more astute answers to the many questions that are raised, it makes me think there is room to explore similar themes in the future.

51 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

26 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az elárult sziget See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,326, 28 February 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed