“If you plead not guilty, you will be sentenced to death. And, unlike in your country, Mr. Moore, sentences are carried out within a week. You will be shot, and the cost of the bullet will be billed to your family.” – Shen Yuelin
Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Jul 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A lawyer is framed for a murder while in China and must find a way to prove his innocence before he is wrongfully convicted.
My Take on it – This is another film that I recalled hearing about when it came out, yet never had much desire to try and find out what it was all about.
This is a very mediocre courtroom drama that doesn’t manage to be as powerful as one might hope.
They try too hard to toe the line and stay politically correct which hurts things too much.
The way that the story unfolds causes things to seem quite convoluted as they attempt to explain a huge conspiracy theory which is done in a very strange way.
Richard Gere feels as if he is phoning in this performance and it’s hard to feel any real emotion from him and his character.
This doesn’t allow for the story to feel more powerful like it probably should.
The story unfolds in a very predictable way and that also hurts things far too much because it all seems to be following a pattern instead of trying to be innovative and unique in the way things are presented.
Bottom Line – Pretty mediocre court room drama because it tries too hard to be a politically correct as possible. The story unfolds in a strange way that doesn’t help keep things interesting because the plot gets a bit too convoluted as the conspiracy theory aspects begin to rise. Gere is ok in the lead, but his performance isn’t as powerful as one might hope for. The story becomes quite predictable as things move along and that hurts things a bit too much.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In order to heighten the film’s sense of reality, director Jon Avnet, actress Bai Ling, and co-producer Martin Huberty traveled to Beijing for a week of “guerilla” shooting, without the knowledge or permission of the Chinese government, to capture the first-ever 35mm film of the city to appear in a Hollywood film. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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