Shanghai

Curiously, this dramatic romantic mystery from director Mikael Håfström (The Rite and Escape Plan) and screenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive and 47 Ronin) wallowed on the shelf for years before getting this delayed release in thea

click to enlarge Li Gong and John Cusack in 'Shanghai'
Li Gong and John Cusack in 'Shanghai'

Curiously, this dramatic romantic mystery from director Mikael Håfström (The Rite and Escape Plan) and screenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive and 47 Ronin) wallowed on the shelf for years before getting this delayed release in theaters. It could be due to the period setting — the early 1940s, before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — and the vaguely noirish take on an American expat (John Cusack) who heads to Shanghai to investigate the death of a friend, which of course leads to complications. With support from Gong Li, Chow Yun-Fat and Ken Watanabe as well as David Morse and Franka Potente, Shanghai traffics a bit too much in a period with about as much relevance as Latin for modern audiences, although that doesn’t mean more discriminating film fans should miss the boat. (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) (R) Not screened in time for review

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