An American man returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months before Pearl Harbor and discovers his friend has been killed. While he unravels the mysteries of the death, he falls in love and discovers a much larger secret. Written by
Shanghai impressed me as a very well-made film. This tale of espionage and double dealing kept me hooked throughout. Shanghai compels the viewer to pay attention in order to piece together a jumble of unclear relationships and alliances. There are many acts of betrayal in the story and they unfold from start to finish. The film also gets high marks for its depiction of pre-World War II Shanghai. The audience get a good visual sense of the cosmopolitan characteristics of the city and in fact, even its delights, like its bars and casinos, compare favorably with those in other modern cities. The acting in this film deserves commendation. Though I am not much of a John Cusack fan, I found his performance believable and not overdone. Li Gong and Yun Fat-Chow are also well cast. Their demeanor came across as natural. I would recommend this film to anyone without reservation.
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