Shanghai Surprise (1986)

“I’ve absolutely no aptitude for the native gibberish. ” – Mr. Burns

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Mar 2022)

Brief Synopsis – A fortune hunter is hired by missionaries to find a lost batch of opium that can be used to help wounded soldiers, but they end up getting involved in something much more sinister.

My Take on it – This was such a silly and boring film to watch which is quite unfortunate since the premise actually shows that it has potential.

The movie was a vehicle for then married couple Madonna and Sean Penn, but since neither plays their part very well, it’s quite a chore getting through this.

The dialogue and script is completely over the top which takes so much away from things here.

The film has a few twists and turns along the way but they come across as seeming very unrealistic and actually impossible in some circumstances.

The story also has a few characters that seem to show up at random points of time which makes things even stranger to watch , not because they aren’t expected, but because it makes little sense for them to be at those particular points.

I’m quite glad that Penn was able to hone his acting career after this movie and remains one of the bets actors in the business today, but if one were to base that assessment on this role from 36 years ago…. I’m not so sure they would come to the same conclusion.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Apparently, after principal photography wrapped, executive producer George Harrison allegedly said of lead stars Madonna and Sean Penn: “Penn is a pain the ass . . . [while]she has to realize that you can be a fabulous person and be humble as well”.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (1/10)


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