It’s been five years since Escape Plan and 1408 helmer Mikael Håfström’s neo-noir wartime drama, Shanghai bowed in China. Interestingly enough, TWC has since landed the film for a limited theatrical release beginning on August 21, and while this is very much newly on my radar, seeing the likes of John Cusack, Gong Li, Chow Yun-Fat and Watanabe Ken together feels very rewarding and promising of some stellar performances to come.
Nothing is what it seems in this Casablanca-style international thriller set in the ancient Chinese city a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. Secret Agent Paul Soames (John Cusack) has just arrived to investigate the murder of his best friend, only to become quickly immersed in a web of conspiracy and lies that beset the city. Shadowed by a Japanese intelligence officer Tanaka (Ken Watanabe), Soames’ investigation quickly centers on a charismatic local gangster, Anthony Lanting (Chow Yun-Fat) – and Lanting’s beautiful wife, Anna (Gong Li). Before long, Soames and Anna are involved in an affair that will put everything they have at stake. As national loyalties are traded fast-and-loose for those of the heart, Soames and Anna must race to solve the mystery and make it out of occupied China before the city’s collapse.